A family watches TV in a house of Colony Los Escombros. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Telecom Regulator Extends Time To Select Channels Of Choice

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has given time till Jan. 31 for consumers to opt for channels of their choice under the new framework for broadcasting and cable services.

"We had a meeting of broadcasters, DTH operators, and multi-system operators. Everyone confirmed their readiness to implement new regulations. However, they requested that some more time may be given to seek options from subscribers for smooth and interruption free migrations," TRAI Secretary S K Gupta told PTI.

Accordingly, distribution platform operators have been permitted to seek options from consumers till Jan. 31 and customers will be migrated as per their choice from Feb. 1, he said.

The new framework allows consumers to select and pay only for the channels they wish to view, and requires TV broadcasters to disclose the maximum retail price of each channel and that of bouquets.

The telecom regulator had earlier asserted that the implementation of the new framework would lead to lower prices for TV viewers and slammed the "misinformation campaign" being carried out by some to fuel "hyperbolic fear" among consumers.

TRAI Chairman R S Sharma had, earlier this month, said the regulator was working to ensure a smooth transition to the new framework without causing any disruption for consumers.

The Supreme Court had recently dismissed a plea challenging the TRAI’s March 2017 regulations and tariff order, relating to fixation of charges for free and pay channels.