TRAI had notified various regulatory frameworks in the year of 2017 pertaining to Broadcasting and Cable Services, Standards of Quality of Service and Consumer Protection and Tariff Order which were amended in year 2020. The framework is commonly referred as New Regulatory Framework 2020. TRAI was of the opinion that it is necessary to give effect to these regulations in order to promote orderly growth of the sector and to balance the interests of service providers and to safeguard the interest of the consumers.
However the same did not go well with broadcaster, DTH Operators, multiple-system operators (MSO), Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) and other service providers.
Keeping in view the complexities in implementing the regulations by certain practical issues in terms of time constraints in creating ecosystem pertaining to implementation of new framework in the system and migrate the consumers to the new tariff scheme faced by many service providers and their associations such as broadcasters, DTH Operators, MSOs and other DPOs have challenged the regulations in High Courts and submitted representations in TRAI.
The Hon’ble High Court of Bombay upheld the validity of the New Regulatory framework except the provisions of average test provided in the third proviso to sub-clause (3) of clause 3 of the Tariff Amendment Order 2020. The said judgment of the Hon’ble Court of Bombay has been challenged by the petitioners in the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the same is pending for adjudication.
In this connection, meanwhile TRAI had directed broadcasters to publish details such as maximum retail price per month of channels and maximum retail price per month of bouquets of channels, composition of bouquets and amended RIO (Reference Interconnected Offer), among others on their websites by August 10th, 2020, subsequently extending the date to 22th October 2021. Consequently, some more broadcasters have submitted their Reference Interconnect Offers (RIO) to TRAI in line with New Regulatory Framework 2020 and same were published on their websites. However, a few broadcasters are yet to comply with the New Regulatory Framework 2020.
Further now, the Authority is of the view that paucity of time should not come in the way of smooth implementation of the New Regulatory Framework 2020. Therefore, sufficient time is proposed to be given to the service providers to upgrade their IT systems and incorporate various channels/bouquets before offering the same to consumers.
The authority further upholding the interest of consumers and considering the complexities and magnitude of processes involved, it agreed that sufficient time will be given for migration of consumers to New Regulatory Framework 2020 to avoid any inconvenience to consumers; which will ensure easy implementation of New Regulatory Framework.
Accordingly, all the Broadcasters and Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) are required to comply with the provisions of the New Regulatory Framework 2020, as upheld by Hon’ble High Court of Bombay, and report the compliance to the Authority as under:
- all the broadcasters shall 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 as per the New Regulatory Framework 2020 and simultaneously publish such information on their websites by 28th February 2022 which was earlier notified as 31st December 2021. The broadcasters who have already submitted their RIOs in compliance of New Regulatory Framework may also revise their RIOs likewise by 28th February 2022.
- all the Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) shall report to the Authority, Distributor Retail Price (DRP) of pay channels, composition of bouquet of pay channels /free-to-air channels and DRP of bouquets of pay channels, as per the New Regulatory Framework 2020 by 31st March 2022, and simultaneously publish such information on their websites.
- All distributors of television channels shall offer and obtain the option for subscription of new bouquets or channels from the subscribers in compliance with the provisions of New Regulatory Framework 2020. These Distributors of television channels shall ensure that with effect from 1st June 2022 services to the subscribers are provided as per the bouquets or channels opted by the subscribers. To enlighten that the previous date of complying the stated requirement was by 1st February 2022 subsequently extended to 31st March 2022
What is a Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO):- As a requirement under the TRAI legislations – a RIO is an offer document setting out matters relating to the price, and terms and conditions, under which a carrier will permit the interconnection of another carrier to its network.
- 21113332F.No. RG-8-1-(9)-2021-B&CS- Implementation Plan- New Regulatory Framework 2020
Disclaimer : This is an effort by Lexcomply.com to contribute towards improving compliance management regime. User is advised not to construe this service as legal opinion and is advisable to take a view of subject experts.