Bhayandar: Confusion on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new channel pricing and subscription tariff regime prevailed as TV screens in hundreds of homes has been blank since Wednesday in Mira-Bhayandar. This despite the switchover deadline has been extended to March 31, 2019. Upset about the abrupt disruption, the irate subscribers are thronging the offices of the local cable operator, demanding explanation and resumption of services.
Sensing a trouble, helpless cable operators sought police intervention to look into their woes and help them resolve the issue. In letters to the six police stations in Mira Road and Bhayandar divisions of Thane (rural) police, the local cable operators association blamed the multi-service operator (MSO) for arbitrarily blacking out of cable TV services and adamantly refusing to resume services despite repeated pleas.
“It’s true March 31 is the deadline, but the step is aimed to give a momentum to the selection. Once the subscriber chooses the channels, the services will be restored. However, free-to-air channels have not been restricted,” clarified an MSO representative. “Despite paying the subscription fee in advance, TV channels have gone off air. The cable operator wanted my signatures in forms to resume services, has now gone incommunicado,” said one Sandip Yadav.
With an option of 100 free-to-air (FTA) channels, the new tariff regime allows viewers to select the channels and pay the maximum retail price for each or bouquet options set by respective broadcasters. Apart from 25 mandatory FTA channels from Doordarshan, viewers can add own FTA or paid channels.