The new broadcasting plan by TRAI will reduce rates, says TRAI Chief

According to a report by PTI, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asserted that with the execution of the new framework build for broadcasting and cable services, would result in lower prices for TV viewers. The Telecom regulator, in the report also,slammed the “misinformation campaign” being carried out by some to fuel “hyperbolic fear” among consumers.
As reported by PTI, TRAI Chairman RS Sharma has stated that the regulator is working to ensure a “smooth transition” to the new framework without causing any disruption for consumers.
“This is a great framework which has been validated by the highest court of the land, but there are certain stakeholders who are trying to create misconceptions that consumer bills are going to rise. It is bogus,” Sharma said.
Striking off the “misinformation campaign”, Sharma also added in the report that, the latest framework entailing service quality, interconnection and tariff aspects will reduce overall prices for consumers, raise transparency, and act as a “cleansing exercise”.

“Certain stakeholders are trying a perception battle…and creating hyperbolic fear or fear of unknown saying it will increase prices and that consumers will have no choice. This is all baseless,” Sharma said.  The report stated that TRAI has banned fixed free deals and adding to that Sharma has asserted that the revenue streams will now be completely synced with the number of viewers of a channel.

“We feel that the fears are being created in the minds of people…with ulterior motive,” he said.

When asked if the industry players have approached the regulator seeking extension of stipulated timelines for implemetation of the new framework, Sharma told that TRAI’s efforts are to safeguard consumer interest and that the authority will work out a methodology to ensure smooth transition, PTI reports.

According to the report, in order to create user awareness on the nuances of its new tariff order and framework for the broadcasting sector, the Telecom regulator has already initiated a consumer outreach programme.
“Also, on our website we have created certain different packages for different markets to demonstrate that the prices will not increase in any of the markets,” TRAI Secretary S K Gupta said.
Recently, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea challenging the TRAI’s March, 2017 regulations and tariff order relating to fixation of charges for free and pay channels. The newly formed framework allows consumers to select and pay only for the channels they wish to view, and requires TV broadcasters to disclose maximum retail price (MRP) of channels individually and that of bouquets.

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