The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued an order where it has said that TV viewers, whether cable or direct to home (DTH), will be able to view 100 pay or free channels by paying Rs 153.40 per month. The price cap is set at Rs 130 per month and including GST, the customers will have to pay a total of Rs 154 every month. TRAI said that consumers should choose these 100 channels before January 31 and the new system where consumers will pay for the channels they subscribe will come into effect from February 1.
This base pack, according to TRAI, will not support high definition (HD) channels in contrast to media reports which said the base pack will also allow consumers to choose from HD channels and one HD channel will be equivalent to two non-HD channels. Consumers will be shown the price of individual channels on their set-top box directly and TRAI recommends inquiring with their service provider directly for more information. Those who have doubts can clear the same by calling up on 011-23237922 (AK Bhardwaj) and 011-23220209 (Arvind Kumar) or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
TRAI has also announced that it is restricting the maximum price of a channel to Rs 19 per month. For the first time, consumers will have the option to choose channels à la carte and need not opt for channels that are bunched together. “The desired channels could be in A-la-carte Free to Air channels or Pay channels or bouquet of pay channels or any combination thereof. The choice completely rests with the consumers,” the regulatory authority said in its communique.
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The statement from TRAI also mentions that the distribution platform operator (DPO) will provide various options to consumers and they can do so either by contacting personal contact provided by local cable operator, calling on call center number or by using mobile app or through DPO website. The rule was expected to go live at the end of December 2018 but has now been pushed to early February. Cable operators are also expected to reach out to consumers in the coming weeks for smoother implementation of this service.