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Trai Issues New Mandate for DTH Activation, Installation Cost Slashed By 58%; TataSky, Airtel, Dish Cannot Charge More Than Rs 500

The telecom and broadcast regulatory body, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has passed a new mandate, capping the installation and activation charged for DTH providers at Rs 500. This new mandate states that DTH providers will not be able to charge more than Rs 350 as installation charge and not more than Rs 150 as an activation charge of the service. Contrary to this, currently DTH providers charge Rs 1,200 for installation and activation of DTH service. This charge is non-refundable, and no extra rental is charged for equipment on top of service rentals. However, after this new mandate, the service providers might levy an upfront refundable deposit and a monthly charge for equipment.

DTH Activation, Installation Cost Slashed By 58%; TataSky, Airtel, Dish Cannot Charge More Than Rs 500!

Trai Issues New Mandate for Capping Installation and Activation Charge at Rs 500 for DTH Subscribers. DTH Activation, Installation Cost Slashed By 58%; TataSky, Airtel, Dish Cannot Charge More Than Rs 500!
Trai Issues New Mandate for Capping Installation and Activation Charge at Rs 500 for DTH Subscribers. DTH Activation, Installation Cost Slashed By 58%; TataSky, Airtel, Dish Cannot Charge More Than Rs 500!
TRAI's new rules aims to help new DTH customers in India. Will this help?

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI is indeed concerned about consumers, and this latest directive clearly proves that.

TRAI has ordered all DTH or Direct to Home providers that they cannot charge more than Rs 500 for DTH activation and installation.

How will this benefit the consumers?

TRAI Order: Rs 500 Maximum Charge For DTH Activation, Installation

TRAI’s new rules for Cable TV and DTH will be effective from December 29th, and will roll out pan-India starting January 1st, 2019.

A new rule pertaining to DTH activation and installation has been added by TRAI, which states that DTH providers in India cannot charge more than Rs 500 for the same.

While Rs 350 can be charged maximum for installation, Rs 150 for activation is the cap.

TRAI’s new order said, “A Distributor of television channels or its linked local cable operator, as the case may be, may charge an amount not exceeding rupees three hundred and fifty as a one-time installation charge.. [and] an amount not exceeding rupees one hundred as a one-time activation charge for activating the broadcasting services related to television.”

How Will This Benefit Consumers?

Currently, Rs 1200`is the normal installation and activation charges for DTH services. This is not refundable and doesn’t include any additional features or plans.

This cost includes charges for installing new wires and activating the service.

Hence, the cost for the same has now been slashed by 58%, which will directly benefit those consumers who are installing new DTH service.

However, those who have existing DTH services won’t be impacted by this new rule.

Besides, TRAI has also ruled that DTH companies cannot charge more than Rs 250 for sending technicians to solve any issue related to DTH connections.

Cost Of New Equipment – How Will DTH Firms Manage It?

Normally, the new equipment for a new DTH price costs Rs 2200 for SD connection, and Rs 2500 for HD connection. As of now, DTH companies compensate by charging Rs 1200, which is half of the amount from the customers, and the rest they pay.

But now, with TRAI forcing them to charge Rs 500 max, the issue of new equipment for DTH customers can be an issue.

There are some theories going around on this development.

Maybe, DTH providers like Airtel, Tata Sky etc can charge a security deposit of Rs 700 to Rs 1000, which means that overall, the new customer will need to pay Rs 1200 to Rs 1500, which is the norm as of now.

However, once the DTH connection is terminated, the DTH will need to return the security deposit.

Trai Issues New Mandate for Capping Installation and Activation Charge at Rs 500 for DTH Subscribers

New Capex on Activation and Installation Charges for DTH Providers

Regarding this new capex, Trai issued a clarification relating to the new tariff regime which comes into effect on December 29. The regulatory body said, “A Distributor of television channels or its linked local cable operator, as the case may be, may charge an amount not exceeding rupees three hundred and fifty as a one-time installation charge.. [and] an amount not exceeding rupees one hundred as a one-time activation charge for activating the broadcasting services related to television.”

Trai has also informed that if the consumers manage to find a set-top box which is usable with the DTH provider’s service, then they should be allowed to use the same. Expanding on this, Trai said, “It shall be permissible for every subscriber to buy a set top box of approved quality from the open market, if available, which is technically compatible with the system of the Distributor of television channels. The distributor or its linked local cable operator, as the case may be, shall not compel any subscriber to buy or take on rent the set-top box from him alone.”

New Rules for Equipment Related Charges

As per the current standards, the cost incurred by the DTH provider for equipment in an SD connection is Rs 2,200 whereas for an HD connection the fee stands at Rs 2,500. Traditionally, the DTH subscribers pay around half of this amount while the DTH providers manage the other half. With the introduction of the new tariff scheme, the most feasible way for the DTH providers will be to charge a security deposit of Rs 700-1200 on top of Rs 500 installation and activation charge. Another way that DTH providers can opt for is the selling of equipment to the subscribers for Rs 1,500-2,500.

Trai has also said that in case a subscriber disconnects from the DTH provider and notifies the DTH provider before 15 days of disconnection, then the DTH provider will have to refund the security amount within seven days of disconnection.

Apart from this, the regulator has also put a max cap on the visiting charge of service technicians to subscriber premises for carrying out repair and maintenance services. This charge has been set at a max of Rs 250 per visit.

We will keep you updated, as more details come in.

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