TRAI says no extension on new tariff plan deadline, issues reminder

Tata Sky too implemented the new scheme today

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has urged consumers not to fall for rumors about any extension of the deadline for the implementation of the new tariff scheme for TV channels, and asked them to shift to the new packs as soon as possible.

The regulator also shot off letters to all broadcasters, cable operators and DTH players asking them to ensure that the roll-out of the new plans is complete by the deadline of January 31.

“It has been brought to the attention of the Authority, that certain rumours and misleading information is still being circulated contending that further extension of the time period for obtaining consumer choices is under consideration,” it said in a statement today, adding that 40% of the subscribers have already indicated their new plans.

“The Authority reiterates that there is no reason to consider any extension in view of the significant momentum in obtaining the choices and the assurances of all the service providers… All subscribers are requested to exercise their option immediately without waiting for last minute,” it added.

On the case of Tata Sky, which has been maintaining that it is waiting for the new tariff schemes to come into effect, TRAI said it has sent a reminder to the company and the company has got back to it with an assurance of cooperation.

“Authority 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 Authority 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.”

Tata Sky, meanwhile, did unveil its new web-based system for customers to migrate to the new plans today.

TRAI also said that it has been getting reports that cable operators in far flung areas have been less than enthusiastic about implementing the new changes.

“Incidences have also been brought to the notice of the Authority that some Multi Systems Operators (MSOs)in far-flung areas and smaller towns are not implementing the new regulatory framework in letter and spirit.

“The Authority reiterates that every Distribution Platform Owner (DPO) and the Broadcaster must implement the regulatory framework as per the press release dated 3rd July, 2018. The Authority has issued an appropriate direction to all the distribution platform operators,” it added.

Subscribers who do not exercise their option by January 31 will be put on free-to-air channel packs or other packs decided by their cable or DTH operator.

They will have the option of changing or modifying these packs through the MSO app, website or call center later.