Special Correspondent

Announces draft tariff package

  • The tariff order will be finalised after August 23
  • Subscribers should at least have benefit of a standard tariff package
  • The package should be affordable to consumers: TRAI

    NEW DELHI: Identifying the set-top box (STB) as the major reason for the opposition to the introduction of the Conditional Access System (CAS), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested that STBs be offered on rent or lease to ensure that the consumer is not "tied to the box".

    CAS schedule

    With CAS scheduled to roll out in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata on January 1, 2007, the Authority, which is doubling as the regulatory mechanism for the broadcast media, on Tuesday came out with a draft tariff package for STBs.

    The tariff order will be finalised after August 23 the deadline set for stakeholders to air their views on the suggested packages.

    Letter to stakeholders

    TRAI Chairman Nripendra Misra in a letter to all stakeholders said the Authority was of the view that subscribers should at least have the benefit of a standard tariff package (STP) which was sensitive to the affordability considerations and ensured that no one was saddled with the STB in case he/she wants to opt for another service provider.

    According to the draft, every service provider should offer STBs on rent with a one-time deposit and a refund policy or on a permanent rental scheme with no one-time deposit. Billed as the STP, service providers are free to offer alternative schemes also.

    The scheme with refundable security deposit mandates that the box becomes the property of the subscriber after five years as the multi-system operator or cable operator can deduct Rs. 12.50 per month from the security deposit.

    Monthly rental scheme

    In the monthly rental scheme with security of Rs. 999 per STB, the rent has been pegged at Rs. 30.

    The plan without security deposit entails a monthly rental of Rs. 45. These rates are applicable only to digital boxes.

    For analogue boxes, the rental has been fixed at Rs. 23 per month. In both options, there will be no installation, activation and maintenance charges.

    More In: Today's Paper