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Madras High Court gives green signal to TRAI’s new tariff order

The new tariff order will be implemented starting May 2, 2017, as ruled by the Court. The petition which was ruled out by the Madras HC was filed by Star India and Vijay Television

Madras High Court, on April 28 waved a green flag to the New Tariff order and Interconnect Regulation issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) earlier. Citing that the regulation is intended at benefitting 120 million TV viewers, the Court said that it cannot be stayed by the Court.

The First Bench comprising of Chief Justice Indira Bannerjee and Justice M Sundar of Madras High Court gave out this important judgement wherein they declined the petition to grant interim stay and gave nod to TRAI’s new tariff order and interconnect regulations. Pursuant to this order, the new tariff order and the interconnect regulations will come into full force on May 2, 2017,

The petition was filed by Star India and Vijay Television in December 2016. The other part of the petition which was challenging TRAI’s authority to regulate the tariff plans will be heard in June 2017.

These regulations will help in creating a level playing field for all the stakeholders, specially the end consumers who will now have complete freedom at their disposal. It will also help in bringing more transparency and fuel growth by regulating the entire broadcasting eco-system.

All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) has advised its member MSOs to upload their Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO), channel carrying capacity and interconnect agreement on their websites as soon as possible. AIDCF, in a statement, also urged all the broadcasters to upload their RIO by May 2, 2017 on their websites.

TS Panesar

TS Panesar, President, AIDCF, said, “We are delighted with the Madras High Court order and now hope that the new tariff order and the interconnect regulations will put things in right perspective. This new tariff order will give the end consumer, the power to choose what they want to watch and ensure content is made available to all distribution platforms without any discrimination, thus balancing the entire eco-system.”

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