DAS has hardly succeeded in Phase 1 and 2 cities when TRAI is thinking of imposing fines for MSOs and LCOs for not complying with its regulations. It has issued a Consultation Paper on 28 August 2014 to amend the Standards of Quality of Service (digital addressable cable TV systems) Regulations.
The proposed amendments are-
Mandatory Electronic Pre-Paid Mechanism As per regulation 14 of the QoS Regulations, 2012 (12 of 2012) the pre-paid payment option offered to the subscriber shall be an electronic pre-paid mechanism wherein the amount paid by the subscriber is adjusted automatically for the services availed by him.
Issue of Receipt with full details. For the existing sub-regulation (5), the following sub-regulation shall be substituted, namely, “(5) The multi-system operator, either directly or through its linked local cable operator, shall issue a proper receipt for every payment made by a subscriber and the details of the receipt such as date and serial number of the receipt; amount paid by the subscriber etc. shall be entered into the subscriber management system of the multi-system operator against the name of the subscriber, within three days of the payment made by a subscriber.
Contravention of the a bove Regulations to attract a Fine After regulation 16 of the principal regulations, the following regulations shall be inserted, namely,
“16A. Consequences for contravention of the provisions of regulation 15 or regulation 16.
(1) If any multi-system operator or its linked local cable operator, contravenes the provisions of sub regulation (1) or sub-regulation (5) of regulation 15, it shall, without prejudice to the terms and conditions of its registration or the provisions of the Act or rules or regulations or orders made, or, directions issued, there under, be liable to pay an amount, by way of financial disincentive, not exceeding rupees twenty per contravention with respect to each subscriber and in case of second or subsequent such contraventions, to pay an amount not exceeding rupees fifty per subscriber for each contravention, as the Authority may, by order direct.
If under a written agreement, the linked local cable operator has agreed to give the bill to the subscriber or to issue proper receipt to the subscriber for the payment made by him or both, and a copy of such agreement has been filed by the multi-system operator with the Authority, then the multi-system operator and its linked local cable operator, both shall be liable to pay financial disincentives separately.
(2) If any multi-system operator contravenes the provisions of sub-regulation (2) of regulation 16, it shall be liable to pay an amount, by way of financial disincentive, not exceeding rupees hundred for each contravention, as the Authority may, by order direct.
(3) No order for payment of an amount by way of financial disincentive under sub-regulation (1) and sub-regulation (2) shall be made by the Authority unless the multi-system operator or its linked local cable operator or both, as the case may be, have been given a reasonable opportunity of representing against the contravention of the regulation observed by the Authority.
16B. Deposit of amount payable by way of financial disincentive under these regulations. The amount payable by way of financial disincentive under these regulations shall be remitted to such head of account as may be specified by order by the Authority.”