TRAI Pulls Up DTH, Cable Operators

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has pulled up direct-to-home (DTH) operators Tata Sky, Dish TV, and Sun Direct TV, along with cable operator Independent TV for failing to abide by the rules of the new tariff order that came into effect at the start of this calendar year.

In a notice dated May 1, the regulatory body directed the distribution platform operators (DPO’s) to abide by the rules of the new tariff order, specifically those pertaining to the migration of those customers who had paid for long-term packs. TRAI explained in the notification that it had received numerous complaints from consumers about the DPOs’ failure to comply with the rules laid out in the new tariff order.

In February this year, TRAI had clarified that customers who have paid for long-term packs will be able to receive the channels till their validity ends. After the validity ends, customers will have to choose the channels/packs again in compliance with the new tariff order. However, according to Trai, consumers have sent in complaints that their prepaid long term packs have been discontinued or migrated to ‘Best Fit Packs’ by their DPO.TRAI had directed DPOs to shift consumers who have not exercised their choice by March 31 to the Best Fit Pack based on their usage pattern. However, this was not applicable to those who had paid for long-term packs.

As a result, Trai has directed the four DPOs to, “desist from migrating long-term plan subscribers to any new plan till the contracted period ends, unless the subscriber opts out of it or the validity of the long term plan expires, whichever is earlier”. All four DPOs have been given seven days to comply with the directions issued on May 1. ―Business Standard

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