Despite assurances from Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on May 1 that NTO 2.0 would not be implemented anytime soon as the broadcasting sector was reeling under the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed all broadcasters to comply with NTO 2.0 by August 10.
Also read: Commentary: TRAI’s light-touch regulation is making a heavy-duty fool of broadcasters and consumers
TRAI issued directions to ensure compliance of various provisions of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Eighth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff (Second Amendment) Order, 2020, dated January 1, 2020, and the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2020, dated January 1, 2020.
Also read: Commentary: No TRAI! English channels were not so unwanted to be killed
The authority again referred to the “orderly growth” of the sector and said it is necessary to give effect to the amendments without any further delay. It said the amendments are aimed at balancing the interests of service providers and to safeguard the interests of consumers.
BestMediaInfo.com had, time and again, pointed out that the authority’s exercise failed to fulfil any of the objectives, and rather proved to be fatal for many broadcasters, while consumers’ bills continued to rise.
Also read: Commentary: TRAI’s overreach to become the third master of OTT sector is fallacious and unwarranted
The telecom regulator directed all broadcasters to report to the authority by August 10, 2020, name, nature, language, maximum retail prices per month of channels and maximum retail price per month of bouquets of channels, or composition of bouquets and also amended Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) in compliance with the provisions of the amended order and regulation.
Also read: Commentary: How history will judge RS Sharma after his five-year stint as TRAI Chairman