Broadcast regulator TRAI on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that it plans to cap the monthly cable TV charges at Rs. 250 across the country, except in areas where conditional access services are available.

In an affidavit filed before the Apex Court, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said it is considering limiting the monthly cable charge to Rs. 100 per month for a minimum of 30 free-to-air channels.

Moreover, TRAI said for those subscribers opting for a basic package (which includes Doordarshan channels) with up to 20 pay channels, the monthly bill will be fixed at Rs. 200.

Customers choosing a basic package with over 20 pay channels will have to pay Rs. 250 per month, TRAI said.

TRAI’s filed the affidavit after the Apex Court had directed it to formulate a comprehensive pricing mechanism for cable services in non-CAS areas after consulting various stakeholders.

The regulator, in its affidavit filed through counsel Sanjay Kapur, said: “... A retail price ceiling — at a reasonable level — that balances the consumers’ interest with the growth potential of the industry is warranted in the case of cable TV services in non—CAS (conditional access system) markets.”

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