TRAI Assures No Blackout of Subscribed TV Channels on December 29

TRAI Assures No Blackout of Subscribed TV Channels on December 29
Highlights
  • There were speculation that there may be blackout of subscribed channels
  • TRAI had notified the new regulatory framework in March, 2017
  • Preparing detailed migration plan for existing subscribers: TRAI

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had last year notified operators of a new regulatory framework for Broadcasting Cable services, and prescribed the implementation schedule by July this year. Amid speculation that there may be a blackout of subscribed channels when the new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable services comes into effect, TRAI on Wednesday assured consumers that there will be no disruption of TV services due to the order's implementation.

TRAI, in March, 2017, had notified the new regulatory framework for Broadcasting and Cable services and re-notified it on July 3, 2018, prescribing the implementation schedule. The authority has noticed that there are messages circulating in the media that there may be a blackout of existing subscribed channels on TV screens after December 29, when the new order comes into effect, the TRAI said in a statement.

"The Authority is seized of the matter and hereby advises that all Broadcasters/DPOs (distribution platform operators)/LCOs (local cable operators), will ensure that any channel that a consumer is watching today is not discontinued on December 29," he said. Hence, there will be no disruption of TV services due to implementation of the new regulatory framework, TRAI said.

"Keeping in view the interest of the subscribers, and to enable a smooth transition, the Authority is preparing a detailed migration plan for all the existing subscribers. The migration plan will provide ample opportunity to each and every subscriber for making informed choice," it said.

This will also enable service providers in carrying out the various activities as stipulated in the new regulatory framework in a time-bound manner, the TRAI said.

The regulatory framework comprises of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Tariff Order, 2017, the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection Regulations, 2017, and the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Standards of Quality of Service and Subscriber Protection Regulations, 2017.

According to the implementation schedule, all the service providers were required to complete the preparation for migration to new framework by December 28, 2018.

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