TRAI issues Direction to Service Providers regarding Implementation of New Regulatory Framework for Broadcasting and Cable Services

Jan 25, 2019 | by Avantis RegTech Legal Research Team

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on January 24, 2019 has issued the direction to Service Providers regarding implementation of New Regulatory Framework for Broadcasting and Cable Services.

New Regulatory Framework for Broadcasting and Cable Services was duly notified on March, 2017 and its implementation schedule was prescribed vide Press Release No. 71/2018 dated July 03, 2018. As per the implementation schedule, all the service providers were required to complete all activities for migration to new framework by December 28, 2018. However, to ensure a smooth migration and consumer convenience in exercising their options, the TRAI provided time until January 31, 2019 vide Press Release No. 127/2018 dated December 28, 2018.

Most of the service providers have provided the consumer care channel on TV Channel Number 999, consumer corner on their website, started Call Centre, released mobile apps and updated EPG displaying the MRP of each channel. They have also made arrangements to receive options of subscribers using various methods which include:

(i)                  Call Centre,

(ii)                Mobile Apps,

(iii)               Website,

(iv)              Personal contacts,

(v)                SMS blast response,

(vi)              Cable TV Operators, etc.

TRAI has launched web portal containing 'Frequently Asked Questions', rates of all the pay TV channels on a-la-carte and the bouquets of pay channels offered by the broadcasters, etc. It has also launched a web portal to help consumers to select the channels of their choice and estimate their monthly bill.

But still incidences have come to the notice of the TRAI that some Multi Systems Operators (MSOs) in far-flung areas and smaller towns are not implementing the new regulatory framework in letter and spirit. TRAI reiterates that every Distribution Platform Owner (DPO) and the Broadcaster must implement the regulatory framework as per the press release dated July 03, 2018. TRAI has issued an appropriate direction to all the DPOs (MSO/DTH/HITS/IPTV operators) and Broadcasters to the effect on January 24, 2019.

TRAI has been receiving hundreds of complaints intimating that one of the DTH (Direct to home) service provider is not providing options to its subscribers to exercise their choices and providing misleading information in regard to implementation of new framework. The TRAI has taken up the matter. The said DTH operator has assured in writing that they will be complying with the new regulatory framework and will make the options available for obtaining the consumers choice. The TRAI assures all the subscribers that all efforts are being made to ensure that there will be no inconvenience or any disruption of TV services due to the migration to the new regulatory regime.

In case of more clarifications or the details of the new framework, contact following officers of Broadcasting and Cable Services Division of the Authority:

(a)    Shri Anil Kumar Bhardwaj, Advisor - II (BandCS), TRAI at 011- 23237922 or email at [email protected] ; or

(b)   Shri Arvind Kumar, Advisor - I/III (BandCS),TRAI at 011-23220209 or email [email protected] .

[Press Release No. 6/2019]




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