Trai reprimands stakeholders for not providing information

Trai reprimands stakeholders for not providing information

New Delhi: In a strongly worded warning to various stakeholders required to give in comments to formulate a consultation paper for tariff issues in non-CAS areas, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has said action will be taken against those who have not provided required information.

On 7 August 2009 Trai had asked for information from various stake holders, to carry out the new tariff exercise for Cable TV in non-CAS areas as per the orders of the Supreme Court of India.

Trai had asked for extensive information like audited financial data, operating models, and factors determining subscription revenue from stake holders like broadcasters, local cable operators, aggreagtors (distribution agent of broadcasters), muti service operators (MSOs), direct to home (DTH) opertaors and consumer advocacy groups.

The broadcast regulator on 4 October 2007, had issued a circular directing a price band of Rs132-260 for cable services based on a classification of cities and the number of pay channels provided by MSOs. The ceiling on the tariff was rejected by the Telecom Disputes Settlement And Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

When contested the Supreme Court on 13 May, 2009 allowed Trai to work out a fresh tariff regime for cable services in general cable TV (non-CAS) areas. Till then the cable operators were instructed to work under Trai’s directions.

The Authority has said, “Failure to furnish requisite information by the said date (28 September 2009) will be viewed seriously and the Authority may consider appropriate action in accordance with law."

“Though there have been responses to required information however many of them have not replied, we want to do holistic exercise," said Subodh Kumar Gupta, advisor (broadcast and cable sevices), Trai.

He further said, “We have not decided on what action would be taken or whether the report will be further delayed, that is for the chairman and members of the Trai to decide."

The last date of submission of the responses has already been extended twice to 28 September 2009.