NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday said that television consumers who have not yet opted for their preferred channels under the new tariff system will get until March 31 to make their choice.
The regulator has also asked the distribution platform operators (DPOs) to create a ‘Best-fit plan’ for consumers who have not migrated to the new system yet, based on their usage pattern, language spoken and popularity of channels.
The subscribers’ old plan shall continue till either the subscribers exercise their option, or until they are migrated to the ‘best fit plan’.
“The Authority extends time up to March 31, 2019 for exercising the option (of selecting channels) by such subscribers who have not exercised option yet. Subscribers will be free to change their ‘best fit plan’ at any date and time on or before March 31, 2019 and DPOs shall convert their ‘best fit plan’ into the desired (channels) pack within 72 hours from the time choice exercised,” TRAI said.
The move, according to the regulator, was due to the fact that while the new framework promotes consumer choice and enables the subscribers to pay for what they wish to view, “non-exercise of the option” should not create any inconvenience to the subscribers.
TRAI has also clarified that there will be no ‘lock-in period’ till March 31 for the subscribers who have been migrated to ‘best fit plan’ by DPOs and that these plans should not generally exceed the payout per month of the existing tariff plan of the subscriber.
Sources had told this publication on Saturday that with broadcasters planning to begin charging under the new system around February 16, distributors could shift consumers who had remaining prepaid
balances but had not migrated to the new system to a base-service plan.