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TRAI extends deadline for implementation of NTO 2.0

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the deadline for implementation of the new tariff order (NTO 2.0) to 28 February, 2023. Further, all broadcasters shall report any change in name, nature, language, MRP per month of channels, and composition and MRP of bouquets of channels by 30 November 2022, and simultaneously publish such information on their websites, the authority has said. All DPOs (distribution platform owners) shall report prices of pay channels and bouquets and composition of bouquets of pay and FTA (free-to-air) channels, by 31 December 2022.

“Several representations have been received from stakeholders requesting for extension of time limit for implementation of New Regulatory Framework 2020,” TRAI said in a letter dated 1 September.

When NTO was first introduced and allowed consumers to choose a la carte channels, the cost of entertainment went up forcing TRAI to amend its order. NTO 2.0 was announced in January 2020 which capped a bouquet channel price at ₹12 instead of ₹19. The Indian Broadcasting Digital Foundation (IBDF) a unified representative body of television broadcasters in India, had said this was not backed by any logical rationale or consumer insight.

After fighting it out with TRAI in court, IBDF had withdrawn the petitions it had filed challenging the new tariff order (NTO) 2.0 this February. K. Madhavan, chairman, CII national committee on media and entertainment and president, the Walt Disney Company India and Star India, recently said that the new team at TRAI is inclined to address the concerns of the industry. “We hope to have a more proactive and positive approach from the regulator. There needs to be light-touch regulation, so as to not hold the industry back,“ Madhavan had said at the Big Picture Summit in November.

At the same event, TRAI chairman P D Vaghela had said that the regulator is committed to ensuring ease of doing business for the telecom and broadcast sector. Livemint

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