TRAI Allows 100% Discount On Network Connect Fees For Multiple TV Connections (New Cable TV Rules)

Cable expenses for households with multiple TV connections will come down now.

Network Connect Fees can be waived off
Network Connect Fees can be waived off

In a big boost for consumers and DTH/Cable TV operators, TRAI has allowed discounts and offers on Network Connect Fees for TV consumers.

What is the discount, and why this is important?

TRAI: Network Connect Fees Waiver Allowed

Under the new Cable TV regulations, there was a confusion regarding Network Connect Fees charges by DTH/Cable TV operators, in case of multiple TV connections.

Now, the confusion is cleared.

In a statement issued yesterday, TRAI has allowed Cable and DTH operators to waive off entire Network Fee Charges, for 2nd and 3rd connection.

This means that the consumers can save the expenses of Network Connect Fees, and the DTH companies and Cable Operators can launch new plans.

TRAI clearly stated: “… now few service providers have started offering the discount/ complete waive Network Capacity Fee (NCF) on second/ additional connection TV connection in home.”

Few days back, TRAI had ordered all DTH and Cable TV operators to announce special packs for households with multiple TV connections.

Reading Between The Lines

As of now, there seems three conditions with this waiver-permission:

  1. DTH/Cable Operators can only waive off the Network Connect Fees on 2nd and 3rd TV connection. The first one needs to be paid for once only.
  2. TRAI has mentioned ‘home’ in the statement; hence, in case there are multiple TV connections in a commercial establishment, then this waiver cannot be applied.
  3. In their order, TRAI has also mentioned that these special offers, and waivers should be uniform across a location. This is their exact statement: “However, it may be noted that such discount shall be uniform in the target market area of respective TV channel distributor and duly declared by the DPO (Distribution Platform Operator) on their website,”

Why Waiving Network Connect Fees Is A Good Step?

Network Connect Fees or NCF is the minimum charge which every cable TV user will have to pay to access cable channels.

Imagine this charge as a pipe, which is coming from the cable operator to your home – The channels are being delivered via this pipe to your home, and every user will need to have a pipe to access cable TV channels.

Once a pipe is accessed by paying Rs 130 plus GST as NCF, the user is able to get 100 channels, which can include both FTA and paid channels. Earlier, Rs 130 plus GST will have to be paid for every TV connection, but now, this has changed.

Hence, under the new rules, the charges for pipe needs to be paid only once in case there are multiple TV connections. In case a user has three TV connections, then now, he only needs to pay Rs 130 plus GST once to access the pipe; compared to Rs 130 * 3 earlier.

We will keep you updated, as we receive more details.

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