Set-top box providers in India get new diktat from TRAI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has managed to dictate a fresh framework of rules for the country’s Direct-To-Home (DTH) service providers to adhere to. What this effectively means is that customers of these companies will now find it easier than before to migrate from one DTH supplier to another.

The regulatory body actually issued a ‘Tariff Order’ (TO) yesterday, under which it prescribed interoperability of Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) that’s more commonly known as the set-top box we have at our homes. During installation on a rental basis, operators will now need to take a depository amount from the customers, which will make it easier for them to migrate to another service if they’re not happy with the current one.

Set-Top Box

Furthermore, TRAI even managed to observe that there is a ‘lack of transparency’ in the large number of schemes that are on offer through the DTH operators. It has said that there should be a declaration of installation and activation charges by Direct-To-Home operators. Moreover, it has also been recommended that this fee should not go beyond Rs 450.

TRAI has mandated that the companies offer an outright purchase scheme named ‘Standard Scheme’ for any type of set-top box that is activated for customers. It’s after this that the service providers can make additional bundled schemes and rental schemes available to them.

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Citing a PTI report, The Economic Times disclosed that during enrollment for rental schemes, operators will need to charge a specified one-time interest-free refundable security deposit, apart from installation and activation charges. Lastly, no repair or maintenance charges will be applied to these customers by them.