NTO 2.0 implementation deadline extended to June 1 By TRAI
TRAI said decision was taken in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation across the country and requests received from stakeholders for extension of time for implementation of New Regulatory Framework.
NTO 2.0: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the deadline for the implementation of New Tariff Order (NTO) 2.0 to June 1, from the earlier deadline of April 1. “All distributors of television channels shall ensure that with effect from June 1, 2022 services to the subscribers are provided as per the bouquets or channels opted by the subscribers,” said a letter dated 3 February to broadcasters and distributors signed by Anil Kumar Bhardwaj, advisor (broadcasting and cable services), TRAI.
The regulator said the decision was taken in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation across the country and requests received from stakeholders for extension of time for implementation of New Regulatory Framework.
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Key Directives Issued By TRAI
- All broadcasters will have to report to the authority, any change in name, nature, language, Maximum Retail Price (MRP) per month of channels, composition of bouquets and MRP of bouquets of channels by February 28, and simultaneously publish such information on their websites.
- For the broadcasters who have already filed reference interconnect offer, TRAI said they may also revise their RIOs by February 28.
- All distribution platform operators must report to the authority the Distributor Retail Price (DRP) of pay channels, composition of bouquet of pay channels /free-to-air channels and DRP of bouquets of pay channels by March 31 and simultaneously publish such information on their websites.
- The DPOs who have already submitted their Revised Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) in compliance with the New Regulatory Framework may also revise their RIOs by March 31.
- All distribution platform owners can report distribution retail price of pay channels or their bouquets and composition of pay and free-to-air channels by 31 March.
Reportedly, under the new tariff order, consumers can expect almost a 20% increase in prices, due to which Indian Broadcasting Digital Foundation (IBDF) a unified representative body of television broadcasters in India, has moved to Supreme Court againt TRAI’s order. IN November last year, the Supreme Court had adjourned the NTO 2.0 matter till 15 February 2022.
According to a Mint report, the Bombay high court had upheld the constitutional validity of NTO except for one condition which mandated that the maximum retail price (MRP) per month of any a-la-carte channel forming a part of the bouquet should not exceed three-time of the average MRP of a pay channel of the bouquet.
Reportedly, when NTO was first introduced and allowed consumers to choose a la carte channels, the cost of entertainment went up forcing Trai to amend its order. NTO 2.0 was announced in January 2020 which capped a bouquet channel price at Rs 12 instead of Rs 19. IBDF had said this was not backed by any logical rationale or consumer insight.
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