TRAI issues new tariff order for cable and DTH

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | July 23, 2010
TRAI has issued a tariff order for addressable systems - DTH, HITS, IPTV and digital addressable cable TV

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a new tariff order on July 21 for the various addressable systems such as DTH, HITS, IPTV and digital addressable cable TV.

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The tariff order recognises that the cable and satellite television sector is analog and non-addressable. Besides, due to capacity and quality constraints, analog systems cannot offer choice to subscribers. Hence, TRAI is actively promoting digital addressable systems to improve the quality of services to the consumers.

Under the tariff order, the subscribers will have the advantage of choosing the channels they wish to watch. The service providers have been instructed to provide pay channels on an a-la-carte basis to subscribers, latest by January 1, 2011 in case of DTH operators. This has been done to give enough time for them to reconfigure their systems. Besides, the service providers have to publish the channel rates every three months.

When fixing the subscriber fee, the service providers have to ensure that any minimum monthly subscription amount cannot exceed Rs 150. In an addressable system, there would be complete record of the subscribers opting for various channels. So, broadcasters have been mandated to make available TV channels to distributors of all addressable systems on a-la-carte and bouquet basis at a maximum of 35 per cent of the corresponding rates for non-addressable cable TV services.

The new order will come into effect from September 1, 2010.