Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Cable charges go up

In the new tariff systems, rentals have gone up for almost 70% of subscribers between January and March

By Rith Basu in Calcutta
  • Published 5.04.19, 2:30 AM
  • Updated 5.04.19, 2:30 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
The deadline for changing to the new regime as mandated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India was March 31. The regulator had extended the deadline twice since last December. (Shutterstock)

Monthly cable rentals have gone up and operators are insisting on multi-system operators’ packages instead of an a la carte menu, subscribers in the city have said.

In the new tariff systems, rentals have gone up for almost 70 per cent of subscribers between January and March, according to cable operators.

The reason, they said, was most subscribers faced problems after choosing channels a la carte and had to fall back on MSO packages.

The deadline for changing to the new regime as mandated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India was March 31. The regulator had extended the deadline twice since last December.

Santoshpur resident Subhajit Ghosh said he chose an a la carte pack a week ago based on his family’s preference, ensuring the monthly bill didn’t cross his earlier rental of Rs 300.

The channels were activated but soon went off the air. “When I visited the cable operator’s office, I was told this was happening to a lot of people who had not chosen MSO packs,” Ghosh, who works in a private firm, said.

“I was told that service would remain uninterrupted if I went for the packs So, I had to go for a Rs 350 pack of an MSO as the ones priced below it did not have most of the channels I wanted.”

Binod Halder of Kasba picked an a la carte menu but his rental, too, went up.

His cable operator insisted that he “should go for an MSO package”, he said. “It was clear that they were keen to promote a particular set of channels, which was part of an MSO package. I chose a monthly pack of Rs 450, which is Rs 50 more than what I paid earlier.”

A cable operator in Ballygunge said channels had to be activated on web portals of MSOs. When a subscriber chooses an MSO package, the options get activated but glitches crop up when one goes for an a la carte menu, the operator said.

Another cable operator said there were “certain benefits” of selling more MSOs packages for operators.

Subscribers opting for high definition channels said the number of HD channels had dipped in the new system though rentals had gone up.

Abhik Ray, who works in an IT company in Salt Lake, said his rental had gone up to Rs 700 from Rs 500 but he did not get all the channels.

Abhishek Banerjee said his monthly rental for two TVs had gone up to Rs 910 from Rs 730 but the number of HD channels had halved.

“We thought rentals would go down in the new system as people would pay only for channels they choose,” an industry veteran said.

“But it is not happening with MSOs hard-selling their packs... and with the MRPs of most pay channels rising, monthly rentals have gone up instead of coming down.”

The person has been in the cable industry since its advent in the city in 1992.