Here’s some bad news for 20 lakh cable TV households that have not filled in the Consumer Application Forms (CAF).
The Telecom Regulatory of India (TRAI) has decided to curtail the viewing of channels at such households.
At an emergency meeting on Wednesday, TRAI directed Multi System Operators (MSOs) to curb telecast of channels to such households.
This means that MSOs will either enforce a two-hour daily blackout or will only transmit Free to Air (FTA) channels.
TRAI had earlier threatened to completely black out cable TV of those consumers who failed to fill the CAF by July 10.
A senior official of TRAI said the step had been taken to give consumers another chance. “We feel consumers will feel the pinch after they are deprived of their favourite TV channels and will fill in the CAF,” said the official, who refused to be named.
“We have told the MSOs to curtail viewing according to their wishes and ensure that all consumers fill in the forms,” he said.
He said the exercise was aimed at consumers’ interests as they would be paying for only those channels that they choose.
However, local cable operators have called the whole exercise regressive.
“TRAI is acting against the interests of consumers,” said Arvind Prabhu president, Maharashtra Cable Operators Federation (MCOF) one of the major associations of local cable operators.
“How can consumers fill the form when it is not made available to them in the first place?” he said.
Prabhu said it was unfortunate that TRAI was talking to MSOs and bypassing the local cable operators who run the entire cable TV business in the city.