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UPDATE: TRAI Amends Quality Of Service Rules For DTH

Telecom and broadcast regulator, The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), has issued amendments to the DTH Quality of Service (QoS) norms that were issued in 2007. “At the time of issue of these regulations, only two DTH operators apart from Doordarshan were providing DTH services in the country. Since then, three new DTH operators have started commercial operations and the number of DTH subscribers has also risen to about 11 million,” Trai said in a statement laying out the need for the amendments. Following are some key amendments.

1) DTH firms cannot charge the subscriber for visits or repairs for equipment under guarentee.
2) The channel composition of a subscription package can’t be changed for six months (if the validity of a prepaid plan is longer, that will apply).
3) During this period, the the DTH operator must pull a channel, subscription charges should proportionately be reduced, or another channel in the same genre and language must replace it.
4) While the DTH operator can choose the channel that will replace the unavailable channel, the subscriber can choose whether to accept the new package or to pay the lower price.
5) DTH operators must entertain requests to suspend subscriber accounts for a period of 1-3 months.

Here’s the release. Here’s the full amendment.

Update: We thought reader Gopal Srinivasan raised an excellent point in the comments field–that TRAI’s rules may dissuade DTH players from adding channels to the subscription package without raising prices, as they have done in the recent past. We raised the issue with TRAI and joint advisor Rakesh Gupta clarified that there is no restriction on a DTH operator adding a channel. “There were a lot of complaints during consultations that DTH operators were unilaterally taking off channels from subscription packages. There is no restriction on adding channels to a package,” Gupta said.

Thanks Gopal!

3 Responses to “UPDATE: TRAI Amends Quality Of Service Rules For DTH”

  1. Biplab Dey

    According to service tax act. bill date is important i.e. which date bill is raise and that date service tax rate applicable
    say. if i call on 22of feb'09 mobile bill date is 1st of march'09 then service tax is applicable is 10.3%, service provided date is not a important the important thing is bill date.
    if the bill date is 23rd feb then service tax applicable is 12.36%
    so i thing i am write.

  2. Gopal Srinivasan

    I like 5). This is useful for those who are traveling for several weeks.

    TRAI has left a grey area with 2) What if the service provider wants to ADD a channel to a package within the first six months? While I like the fact that TRAI has been thoughtful about protecting package prices for six months, this might dissuade operators from adding new channels to packages at no extra cost, like Tata Sky and Airtel DTV have done in recent times.