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Taken steps to ensure conformity to new regulatory framework: Independent TV assures TRAI


Press Trust of India New Delhi
DTH operator Independent TV (formerly Big TV) has assured broadcast regulator TRAI that it has taken a series of steps to ensure that its current tariff plans are in conformity to the sector's new regulatory framework.
The clarification came after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) wrote to Independent TV asking it to justify its current tariff plans in the backdrop of the sector's regulatory framework. The regulator had flagged the issue as it received several consumer complaints over lack of clarity on tariff plans and their break-up details for monthly charges.
Sources said that in response to TRAI's queries, Independent TV, in a letter to the regulator earlier this month has stated, "In regard to our current tariff plans being offered by Independent TV, we would like to assure the authority of our complete compliance with the NTO (New Tariff Order). Pursuant to our meetings...and the discussions...we have realigned our product offerings..."

The operator has submitted to TRAI the current plans and packages on offer, as also the details of network capacity fee and distributor retail price applicable with respect to such plans.
"There were some complaints that their franchisees were offering annual plans without clarity on break up...So, Independent TV has said it has not activated any annual plan after implementation of the new regulatory framework, and that in case any of its franchisee is offering such plans, it will take necessary action," a TRAI official said.
The operator has also come out with advertisements and put information on withdrawal of the legacy offers and as well as details of the current offers for prospective customers on its website.
"With regard to any ambiguity on the old annual offer (Freedom 1999) from Independent TV and its current availability, we have taken the following steps...We have run a campaign on our website informing all prospective customers of the withdrawal of all our LDPs (Long Duration Packs) including Freedom 1999 pack..We have aggressively engaged in educating and explaining the same to our channel partners," the letter by Independent TV said.
The company added, "every complaint forwarded to us by the authority with regard to this issue is being verified one-on-one and any delinquent behaviour from any of our channel partners is being dealt with appropriately."

TRAI in turn, in a communication to the company dated March 26, has instructed Independent TV "to ensure that the new regulations are followed in letter and spirit with no violations...ensure that all new connections booked are provided in a time bound manner...and ensure that all outlets of Independent TV Ltd do not provide any package which is in violation of new regulations."

TRAI recently unveiled the new tariff order and regulatory regime for the broadcast and cable sector, which paves the way for consumers to opt for channels they wish to view, and pay only for them. It has said every channel should be offered a la carte, with a transparent display of rates on electronic programme guide.

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First Published: Mar 31 2019 | 10:30 AM IST

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