TRAI reiterated that NTO 2.0 is not the cause of price hike
If NTO 2.0 implemented in its true letter and spirit, it will usher in better channel content at the most competitive prices
It said that new prices are unsustainable and against the interest of consumers
As broadcasters release their new Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) following NTO 2.0 it is becoming clear that the TV bills are going to increase significantly and customers have to shell out more money for entertainment.
The regulations brought by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) which were supposed to reduce channel prices are being proved to have failed as no one is satisfied with the outcome. Customers are at loss because of hiked prices, broadcasters are going to lose viewers and TRAI has got the opposite of the result they had expected.
Now, on Friday, the regulatory body broke its silence and came forward to express displeasure over the new prices declared by broadcasters. Without accepting any flaw in the tariff order, TRAI said that broadcasters are exploiting the freedom to price a la carte channels and it reflects their intention to increase the cost of popular channels.
The regulator reiterated that NTO 2.0 is not the cause of price hike and stated that a misleading campaign is being run to blame the tariff order amendment for increase in prices. “NTO 2.0 does not entail or prescribe any condition for increasing prices”, said TRAI.
It defended the tariff order saying its purpose was to bring down prices and ensure no service provider corners undue gains at the expense of consumers. The price hike in the name of complying with NTO 2.0 is false and an attempt to defeat the purpose of the amendment.
It further added that the newly announced prices for some channels are unsustainable as these are not demand-driven or market-determined prices and are against the interest of consumers. According to TRAI, once NTO 2.0 is implemented in its true letter and spirit, it will bring in an era of transparent tariffs and usher in better channel content at the most competitive prices.
The authority is monitoring new developments and assured viewers that it may review certain provisions including the forbearance clause which allows broadcasters to freely price a la carte channels for the larger interest of consumers and the broadcasting sector.
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