On 6 December 2013 the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) met the multi-system operators (MSOs) in Kolkata to extend the deadline for initiating gross (consumer) billing from 10 December to 15 December.
Now, the MSOs have assured cable TV subscribers that they will try and keep the package price unchanged till June this year, although they are contemplating a price rise post June 2014.
The MSOs have also requested subscribers to collect bills from local cable operators (LCOs) before dishing out the subscription fee for January. This is to bring in transparency in the billing process for the Kolkata Municipal Area (KMA).
It is further learnt that the MSOs are meeting regularly to discuss smooth rollout of gross billing in the KMA area, especially after having been asked by the West Bengal as well as central government authorities to expedite the billing process.
Sudip Ghosh, Director, Manthan Broadband Services, “We will continue with the package and we all are trying to keep the price of package untouched till June. The MSOs will try to absorb the cost themselves.
According to Suresh Sethia, Director Siticable Kolkata, the entire process would take some time. “Customers are happy. Operators too want the billing to be in place. Also, we have put up advertisements in newspapers for consumer awareness regarding billing apart from local channels,” he said.
As per TRAI regulations, subscribers get a period of 15 days from the date of the bill to make the payment.
“In case the subscriber fails to make the payment after the expiry of the due date of payment, we will charge interest on the outstanding amount,” Sethia informed.
With nearly 30 lakh cable homes, gross billing is definitely expected to regularise the hither to ad-hoc system of billing.