TRAI has taken out a new tariff order for commercial subscribers, both in analog/ as well cable TV markets. Definition of a commercial consumer has been revised, to include only those subscribers who make consumers watch television programmes after paying money. This means where no specific money is charged for watching television in a commercial establishment, such connection will be charged at ordinary subscriber rates. Broadcasters are not happy with this and have challenged the order in TDSAT.
The Ad cap implementation in television channels is also held up further as the Delhi High Court has adjourned the matter to 27 November 2015. It is quite surprising that a matter so important for the welfare of millions of consumers is lingering on for over two years, in various courts.
TRAI, at the fag end of the month also issued a draft Tariff Order for pay channel rates amending the twin conditions, relating a-la-carte rates with bouquet rates.
Interconnection Regulation is also being reviewed as many a problems have been experienced in following it, leading to court cases.
All these reviews are being done on the directions of various Courts. This shows, TRAI had not thought of the implications of these regulations while drafting them. This is one of the major causes of delay in implementing digitalisation.
I&B Ministry is not inclined to take any action against the broadcasters who are delaying the implementation of digitalisation and the regulator does not have the teeth to do so. Hence, jungle Raaj, will carry on in the industry for some more time, keeping investors away from the market.
Bad planning, corruption and vested interests have always ruined the implementation of government schemes, meant for the masses. We have a clear example of this in mandatory digitisation which has not given any positive results in the last four years.