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Trai finds six cable firms violating new tariff order, seeks compliance in 5 days

The regulator also clarified that DTH and cable operators cannot force consumers to go in for only predefined packages or bouquets.

Trai finds six cable firms violating new tariff order, seeks compliance in 5 days

New Delhi: Regulator Trai Tuesday said six cable TV players, including GTPL Hathway and Siti Networks, violated several rules, especially those related to new tariff order, and directed them to ensure compliance within five days.

The other players are Fastway Transmissions Private Ltd, Den Networks, and IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL) and Hathway Digital.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) found that GTPL Hathway, Siti Networks, Fastway Transmissions Private Ltd, Den Networks, and IMCL are forcing channels and package schemes to the consumers, and subscribers are not able to exercise their choice till date.

Trai has unveiled the new tariff order and regulatory regime for the broadcast and cable sector to facilitate consumers to opt for channels they wish to view and pay only for them. The rule has been effective since February 1. It had said every channel should be offered a la carte, with a transparent display of rates on electronic programme guide.

The regulator also clarified that DTH and cable operators cannot force consumers to go in for only predefined packages or bouquets.

Trai said it has received consumers' complaint that GTPL Hathway, Siti Networks, Fastway Transmissions Private Ltd and Den Networks are not providing bill receipt of the payment made in printed form to the consumers.

In case of Hathway Digital, Trai found that it is offering a bouquet of TV channels which contain both free-to-air and pay channels. It found that Hathway Digital has disconnected pay channels of customers who have paid advance amount for one year without their consent and only showing them FTA channels.

Also, Hathway Digital subscribers are unable to re-excercise their choice through website or toll-free number of the company.

IMCL subscribers complaint to Trai that the firm is overcharging the subscribers in the name of service charges.

The regulator issued the direction after inspecting consumer premises and verifying complaints.

Trai asked all the six firms to "report compliance as per the new regulatory framework within 5 days from the date of issue of this direction".