New DTH Plans
TRAI new rules for DTH and cable operators: TRAI’s new framework for DTH and cable operators comes into effect from February 1, 2019, under which subscribers will need to choose their own channels and packs. DTH providers like Airtel Digital TV, Dish TV, Tata Sky have already put out channel lists on their official websites.
So, what happens if subscribers do not choose their channel packs under TRAI’s new framework? TRAI previously said in a statement that the migration from the old framework after January 31, 2019, will be smooth and interruption-free and there will be no blackouts.
Subscribers whose monthly recharge date is ahead will be prompted to recharge under TRAI’s new framework on their upcoming renewal date. This will be communicated through SMS, on the company’s website as well as a dedicated channel number 999, which is running a demonstration video on how to choose channels and packs.
The new regulations will introduce efficient pricing for consumers. Broadcasters get to decide the new pricing for channels as well as channel clusters. Service providers need to pass on these prices to the consumers in the same way. They also have to offer TRAI’s new a la carte-based method to choose channels alongside their own custom channel packs. Customers can either choose operator-chosen packs or go for TRAI’s new a la carte system, with the latter promising reduction in TV bills.
Here’s a recap of all the changes that the new regulations have brought to the country.
How your TV viewing experience will change from February
–A la carte system is now mandatory for all DTH service providers. They will have to offer consumers the freedom to create their own channels packs by choosing from individual channels.
–Channel prices are now dictated by broadcasters and need to be submitted to TRAI before being put into effect. Once a price is approved, DTH service providers will then be able to pass on the prices to consumers. Channel prices are listed on TRAI’s website.
–There’s a base package for all channel packs. TRAI has capped the prices for base packs at Rs 130 for all DTH operators. Each base pack will contain at least 100 channels. Consumers will also have to pay 18 percent GST above the base pack.
–The base pack can contain a combination of pay channels as well as free-to-air channels. All Doordarshan channels will be mandatorily available in all packs.
–Consumers can opt for additional slots that can hold up to 25 channels. Each slot price has been capped at Rs 25 plus the additional Network Capacity Fee. 18 percent GST will also apply to these slots.
–TRAI has capped the maximum price of all Standard Definition (SD) channels at Rs 19. Broadcasters are also offering their channel clusters that contain all their channels in various packs for subsidized prices.
–If you want to get a rough idea about your TV bill, you can head over to TRAI’s Channel Selector App for getting an approximate idea of your new TV bill.
–If you are experiencing a faulty DTH connection, then DTH operators have to attend and fix the problem within 72 hours of reporting. Once the deadline crosses, operators will have to fix the problem without charging any money.
–Consumers can also decide whether they want to buy a Set-Top-Box (STB) or rent one. No DTH service provider can force a consumer to buy their STB.
–If a consumer fails to choose the base pack by today, he/she may face disruption in services from tomorrow, i.e. February 1, 2019.
— If a consumer is a subscriber to a long term plan, he/she will continue to get the benefits of the pack. The benefits will be adjusted according to the new regulations.
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