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Consumers get time till Jan 31 to pick TV channels after new service rules

Service providers have to prepare for migrating to the new framework by December 28 this year.

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Broadcasters have to announce the MRP of each channel

have time till January 31 next year to select channels under a new framework for and cable services, said India’s telecom regulator on Friday.

Service providers have to prepare for migrating to the new framework by December 28 this year, said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in a notification issued on July 3.

"All existing packs/plans/bouquets to the subscribers will continue uninterrupted till January 31, 2019. No service provider to disconnect any signal or feed to any MSO/LCO (local cable operator)/subscriber till January 2019," said in a statement.

Distribution platform operators (DPOs) will devise their own mechanism to reach out to all the subscribers and seek options from subscribers. DPOs need to migrate all the subscribers to new framework with effect from February 1, 2019.

In order to have a smooth implementation of the new regulatory framework that will come into effect Saturday, held a series of meetings and consultations with all the stakeholders including Consumers Advocacy Groups (CAG) during last 4-6 weeks, the statement said.

It was noted during those discussions that to make the consumers aware about the new framework and the process of seeking fresh choice of from about 150 million subscribers would require some time and resources of the service providers.

"Subsequently, the Authority (TRAI) also held meetings on December 19 and December 27 with various service providers of the and cable services sector. The preparedness for migration of all subscribers from old to new framework was also assessed," said.

The Telecom regulator said the issue of smooth migration from the old to new regulatory framework was specifically discussed and it emerged that, by and large, most stakeholders are ready for implementation of the new regulatory framework.

TRAI said DPOs shall declare the Distributor Retail Price (DRP) and Network Capacity Fee (NCF) by December 29.

The government had said on Thursday that the new regulatory framework for and cable services will provide "freedom of choice" and give consumers "direct control" on their monthly bill for television services.

First Published: Fri, December 28 2018. 18:17 IST