Almost all cable TV consumers either made channel preferences or given best fit plan: Trai

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Trai has also emphasised to players that customers should not face any inconvenience or service disruption during the migration process. 
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Sector regulator Trai Friday said it has been informed by players that almost all cable TV consumers have either made their channel preferences or been moved to ‘best fit plan’ under the new tariff regime. Trai held a meeting with distribution platform owners (DPOs) on Friday, including multi-system operators (MSO) and all major DTH players, to review the progress of migration of TV viewers under the new framework.

Trai Secretary S K Gupta told PTI that according to inputs received by the regulator from players, in the case of DTH services, about 43 per cent customers have made their channel preferences known. “When combined with statistics for ‘best fit plan’, this number rises to 57 per cent,” Gupta said. Friday’s meeting was attended by all major DTH companies, including Tata Sky and Airtel.

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“The authority reviewed the progress of the migration with all large DPOs. As per inputs provided by DPOs, near 100 per cent consumers of cable TV homes have been migrated to the new framework either based on options of subscribers or as per ‘best fit plan’. Among DTH service homes, over 43 per cent consumers have already been migrated,” Gupta said.

The DTH service providers have submitted to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), which is also the regulator for broadcasting, that all subscribers of this pre-paid platform will be migrated to new framework in the next 2-3 weeks. Trai has also emphasised to players that customers should not face any inconvenience or service disruption during the migration process. “Trai is urging subscribers to exercise their options to select TV channels of their choice, immediately.

DPOs have been instructed to execute the options of subscribers at the earliest,” he said. Earlier this month, the regulator had extended the timeline for consumers to make their channel preferences till March 31, 2019. At the same time, Trai had asked all DPOs to create ‘best fit plan’ for its subscribers who have not exercised their options yet.

The ‘best fit plan’ shall be designed based on consumers’ usage pattern, language spoken and popularity of channels, Trai had said. The regulator had said that subscribers will be free to change their best fit plan at any date and time on or before March 31, 2019 and the DPO will convert their best fit plan into a desired pack (opted by the consumer) within 72 hours of subscribers making their channel preferences known.

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