TV Viewers Face Outages As New Tariffs Kick-In

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new MRP-based broadcast tariff order rolled out on February 1 has met with a barrage of complaints as customers took to Twitter to lambast the blackouts, outages and other inconveniences it has triggered.

Surendra Singh tweeted that his TV screen has been blank since February 1, despite having selected a new pack on January. Tagging Airtel DTH, he said the “account balance is deducted on a daily basis”, but with no service. Pranjal Pradhan tweeted complaining of “complete blackouts for over 24 hours”, and said “still without service”, tagging Airtel and TRAI.

“Those who have opted for new packs as per TRAI are only affected and those who didn’t do anything aren’t affected (sic),” tweeted Neeraj Dogra.

While Airtel did not comment, company sources said, “There is no blackout from our end and we have tried to ensure there is no disruption in service experience for our customers. there is a massive last-minute rush and the systems are working on war footing to process all requests. Needless to say, all customers will be onboard as per the TRAI norms.”

An industry source said that compared to few thousand requests on a normal day, the last few days have seen millions of requests from customers to meet the February 1 deadline to implement the new tariff order.

Aniket Agarwal tweeted that “till date, the channels are not added, packages are selected as per TRAI, however, those channels are not coming (sic)”.

Palash Dasgupta tweeted saying that nothing is working for Dish TV. “What are we paying for?” he asked, tagging TRAI and Dish TV.

Tagging Tata Sky, Balamurugan tweeted saying that he is fed up with its service. “I feel your implementation of TRAI regulations is very poor,” he said in his tweet. Some customers also complained about the prices being higher.

TRAI’s new rules for DTH, cable and multi-system operators require DTH and cable operators to offer a base package of at least 100 channels at 130, excluding GST.

Free-to-air channels in the base pack are available for free, while the pay channels included are charged extra. The consumers are allowed to choose any 100 TV channels in the base package.

Tata Sky and Dish TV did not comment. Industry sources said that TRAI has given operators time till February 7 and the DTH players are hopeful of closing all customer requests by then.―The Hindu Business Line

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