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    Trai open to reviewing spectrum pricing, says chairman RS Sharma

    telecom | IST

    Trai open to reviewing spectrum pricing, says chairman RS Sharma

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    Telecom regulator Trai has extended the timeline until February-end for service providers to put in place a complaint mechanism and associated penalties to check pesky calls and messages. RS Sharma, chairman of Trai, spoke to CNBC-TV18 about the extension. 

    Telecom regulator Trai has extended the timeline until February-end for service providers to put in place a complaint mechanism and associated penalties to check pesky calls and messages. RS Sharma, chairman of Trai, spoke to CNBC-TV18 about the extension.
    “The overarching objective of this new framework for broadcasting sector is to provide the consumers a choice and empower them to select the channels, which they want to watch. The adjusting framework essentially was a framework of bouquets, which bundles many channels in one bouquet and you did not have the right to choose one channel out of that bouquet, which means that if you wanted to buy a channel then you have to buy the bouquet and the bouquet contains maybe 20 more channels which you never watched and for which you paid. So this is not good from the customers’ point of view because after all, it is the customer who should have the ultimate choice as to what he or she wants to watch. Whatever he or she watches should pay only for that,” Sharma said on Tuesday.
    “Everybody has done whatever should have been done by way of preparation. For example, the broadcasters have declared the MRP of their channels then they have created bouquets for their channels, the customer help page and other kind of things have been done, so almost every milestone has been completed within December 29. The one area where we needed some time was the transition, the migration from the adjusting framework to the new framework from the customers’ viewpoint. So we have given time till January 31 and during that period of time, it is the local cable operators or DTH operators, they will contact the customers, get their choices, these choices will be executed so to say from February 1 onwards. So I think we are fairly certain that this will happen. We have also made a provision to review it every week to ensure its completion in time,” he added.
    Speaking about the method to bring down the spectrum prices, Sharma said, “We had a meeting with the stakeholders about a month back and this has more or less become a tradition where in the month of December or early January, we talked to all these stakeholders both in the telecom space and the broadcasting sector and asked them what their thoughts are, what are the issues which they think the regulator should take up in the next calendar year. we don’t do anything without consulting these stakeholders so we took that process a step forward and we said let us also consult as to what consultation we should do in the next calendar year.”
     
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