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Trai gets SC nod to continue consultation on DTH tariff
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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court, in its direction on Monday, gave a nod to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to go ahead with its consultations on direct-to-home (DTH) services, related to fixing of tariffs.

A bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan allowed the regulator to hold consultations with all stakeholders including DTH operators, broadcasters, cable operators and consumers for regulating tariff in DTH. The notice was issued to broadcasters including Zee Turner and ETC Punjabi apart from Tata Sky.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) had challenged the Punjab and Haryana High Court order of 9 December, 2008, wherein the court had directed Trai to fix tariffs in relation to DTH content pricing.

According to IBF there is no requirement for a fresh tariff regime in case of DTH as the present order is quite objective and no purpose would be served in replicating the exercise all over again.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com, a senior Trai official said, “The judgement will have no direct impact as the task of fixing the tariff is Trai’s independent domain and can't be controlled by anybody. The Supreme Court has given its assent on our regulatory role.”

Earlier on 11 March 2008, DTH operator Tata Sky had filed a writ petition in Punjab and Haryana High Court order against Trai urging the regulator to fix a new tariff regime for the DTH sector for further growth and development.

Broadcasters, according to the current tariff regime, will have to offer to DTH its bouquets and channels at 50 per cent of the rates at which these are being offered in non-Cas areas.

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