The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a showcause notice to telecom and DTH operator Airtel over recent issues of blackout faced by some viewers of its Direct-to-Home (DTH) services during transition to the new tariff regime, sources said.
The notice was sent earlier this week and the company has been given three days’ time to respond to it, people in knowledge of the development told IANS.
In a statement, TRAI said that the regulator on Monday issued a direction to all the distribution platform operators (DPO) that there should be no withdrawal or discontinuance of television channels on their platform by any TV service provider.
Responding to a query by IANS, an Airtel spokesperson said: “We have over 15 million customers who are being migrated to the new tariff regime. Due to massive surge in last-minute requests, particularly on January 31 and February 1, few customers may have experienced some delays in provisioning of channels.”
“Customer experience is of paramount importance to us. We remain fully committed to ensuring compliance with all TRAI guidelines and will file our response to the notice,” he added.
The new tariff regime for cable and DTH TV services, which mandate consumers to select channels of their choice – either individual channels or bouquets – came into effect on February 1.
TRAI also said in its statement: “The authority has noticed that due to heavy rush, the website of some DPOs have crashed intermittently and a little inconvenience was caused to come subscribers due to sporadic local issues. However, by and large the migration of subscribers to the new regulatory framework has been smooth.”