TRAI’s New Guidelines Now Suggest Network Capacity Fee Not Mandatory For Multiple For Cable & DTH Connections

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has said the network capacity fee (NCF) is not mandatory for the second or any subsequent television connections in a household and service providers can provide uniform discounts in a particular location. The clarification comes after several Direct-to-Home (DTH) and cable TV users raised concerns over likely high expenditure due to multiple connections, under the new broadcast framework which came into effect on February 1.

It also clarified that the regulation provides a capping of Rs 130 as network capacity fee for 100 standard definition (SD) channels and Rs 20 for the slab of next 25 SD channels. “Pursuant to the same now few service providers have started offering the discount or complete wave off of network capacity fee on second or additional TV connection,” it said.

TRAI also said that an analysis of preliminary data of few DPOs shows subscribers in metros have saved 10-15 per cent and 5-10 per cent in non-metro areas.

The consumer has complete freedom to choose the 100 SD channels within the NCF of Rs 130. The desired channels could be in a-la-carte free to air channels or paid channels or bouquets of channels.

“The regulation does not prohibit the service providers to offer discount or lower network capacity fee for second or additional connections in same location or home. However, it may be noted that such discount shall be uniform in the target market area of respective TV channel distributor and duly declared by the DPO (Distribution Platform Operator) on their platform,” a TRAI statement said.

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