New Delhi: Operators of direct-to-home (DTH) television services have been barred by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from increasing subscription charges for the first six months following complaints about arbitrary changes in schemes.
The provisions of the new DTH Broadcasting Services (Standards of Quality of Service and Redressal of Grievances) Regulations of 2007, framed by the TRAI, empower customers in many ways to ensure unflagging quality of the services received by them.
While putting a bar on the operators, the regulations, which come into force from 1 December, allow subscribers to discontinue the services at any point of time. Moreover, operators are at liberty to reduce the subscription charges at any time.
TRAI’s new regulations will also ensure the technical and commercial inter-operability of DTH services. Technical inter-operability or the ability to use the same set-top box, remote and rooftop dish with all DTH service operators, is ensured by the provision that prohibits operators from disabling a set-top box if a subscriber chooses not to continue availing their service.
The operators have been disabling set-top boxes by downloading a software patch from the satellite that aborts the operating system of the box. In such circumstances, subscribers have had to pay again for new hardware. However, the disabling clause is not applicable in cases where arrears are pending against a subscriber.