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Thursday, Dec 02, 2004

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Monthly cable TV bill to go up 7%

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Dec. 1

MONTHLY cable bills are set to go up by 7 per cent from January 2005. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), after reviewing the ceiling rates for inflation, has issued an order permitting the hike.

It has said that the new rates will apply for the payments to be made by consumers, cable operators, multi-system operators for January 2005. This would mean that if a household was paying Rs 220 a month, of which Rs 20 is the tax component, then the 7 per cent increase would be applied on Rs 200. The bill would go up by Rs 14, the maximum permissible increase.

The TRAI had on December 2, 2003 put a ceiling on both free-to-air (FTA) and pay channels. It had also said that if any new pay channel was introduced after that date or any existing FTA channel converts itself to pay channel provided that they are offered on a standalone basis, they could charge rates comparable to similar channels.

The tariff order had also provided for reduction in the ceiling on the same principle if the broadcaster/MSO/cable operator were to reduce the number of pay channels.

The regulator had said in November this year that the ceiling rates would be reviewed periodically to make adjustments for inflation so that the new rates are implemented.

Meanwhile, the launch of several new channels in the last few months has resulted in an increase in monthly bills of some households. Channels such as Hungama, Zoom or POGO charge anything between Rs 6 and Rs 10 a month.

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Monthly cable TV bill to go up 7%

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