The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has pulled up Bharti Airtel’s direct-to-home business vertical Bharti Telemedia for failing to comply with the rules of the new tariff order that came into effect at the start of this calendar year. The company operates the DTH brand Airtel DTH.
In a direction notice dated April 23, the regulatory body directed the DTH provider to comply by the rules of the new tariff order. Trai explained in the notification that it had received numerous complaints from consumers about Airtel DTH’s failure to abide by the rules laid out in the new tariff order.
“The said DTH operator is forcefully offering a bouquet of free-to-air channels with no choice to subscribers, without their consent and with no additional NCF (network capacity fees). This is in addition to the channels opted by the subscribers…Most of the times, the consumers are not able to contact the toll-free number of M/s Bharti Telemedia Ltd to express their grievance,” the regulator said, while listing the complaints against Airtel DTH.
Under the new regulations, cable and DTH operators cannot charge in excess of Rs 130 (exclusive of taxes) as the base price for a connection, which is called network capacity fee. The basic pack, which comes with this base price, includes 100 free to air channels, 25 of which are Doordarshan channels while the rest can be chosen by the consumer.
Trai has asked Airtel DTH to report compliance as per the new regulatory framework within five days from the date of issue of the direction.