Network Capacity Fee (NCF) for second/ additional connection is not mandatory
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI),in March, 2017, notified the 'New Regulatory Framework' (or the New Framework) for Broadcasting and Cable services, comprising of the (i) Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services (Eighth)(Addressable Systems) Tariff Order, 2017, (ii) Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017 and (iii)Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable) Services Standards of Quality of Service and Subscriber Protection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017. The new framework has come into effect on 29 December, 2018. However, to provide sufficient time to subscribers for exercising their options, the Authority provided time up to 31st January, 2019. All the Distribution Platform Owners (DPOs) are required to migrate the subscribers as per their choice with effect from 1st February, 2019.
 
Few subscribers have raised the issue regarding the price of the second/ multi TV connection at home. It has been clarified by the Authority that the Regulation provides a capping of Rs130/- as Network Capacity Fee (NCF) for 100 SD channels and Rs20/- for the slab of next 25 SD channels. Further, the regulation does not prohibit the service providers to offer discount or lower Network Capacity Fee for second/ additional connections in same location/ home. However, it may be noted that such discount shall be uniform in the target market area of respective TV channel distributor and duly declared by the DPO (Distribution Platform Operator) on their website. Pursuant to the same now few service providers have started offering the discount/ complete wave off of Network Capacity Fee (NCF) on second/ additional TV connections in home.
 
The new framework promotes consumer choice and enables the subscribers to pay for what they really watch. The new framework has been designed after balancing and providing for the proportionate revenue for various service providers in the service provisioning value chain. The basic architecture of the framework provides far fair competition among broadcasters and the real prices will be discovered after few months of market play. The analysis of preliminary data of few large DPOs reflects actual savings by subscribers to the tune 10% to 15 % in Metro Towns and between 5% and 10% in Non-Metro (DAS3 and DAS 4) areas.
 
Consumer has complete freedom to choose their desired 100 Standard Definition (SD) channels within the network capacity fee of maximum Rs130. The desired channels could be in a-la-carte Free to Air channels or Pay channels or bouquet of pay channels or any combination thereof. The choice completely rests with the consumers. DPOs are providing various options to consumers to exercise their choice. These methods include Personal contact by Local Cable Operator, Calling on Call Centre Number, Using Mobile Apps or through DPO Website.
 
The new regime empowers the subscribers to change their choices whenever they desire. They can add or delete channel for a month or far multiple months, i.e at the end of each billing cycle, thereby providing enough flexibility. All the subscribers are requested to choose wisely and select those channels that they wish to watch.

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GAIL terminates contract with IL&FS for laying pipeline
Natural gas processing and distribution major GAIL has terminated a contract given to IL&FS for laying pipeline in Bokaro-Durgapur section due to poor project progress.
 
The company in a regulatory filing to the BSE on Wednesday said that the Bokaro-Durgapur section (124 km) is now re-tendered and awarded to three different contractors to expedite construction efforts.
 
Besides, GAIL also informed that the project consultant, Engineers India Ltd, was replaced by Metallurgical & Engineering Consultants (India) Ltd for overseeing the project activities in this crucial stretch.
 
"In a swift move to safeguard project schedule of the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga natural gas pipeline to eastern India states, GAIL (India) Ltd as the owner and operator of the project under execution has offloaded the pipe laying contract from IL&FS due to poor project progress driven on account of acute financial crisis," GAIL said in a statement.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Brexit Effect: Fitch Places Tata Motors on Negative Rating Watch Due to Risks for JLR
Fitch Ratings has placed Tata Motors Ltd (TML)'s long-term issuer default rating (IDR) of 'BB' on rating watch negative (RWN) to reflect the increasing risks of a disorderly Brexit for its fully owned subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc (JLR).
 
"JLR sells about 20% of its vehicles in both continental Europe and the US, but manufactures them quasi-exclusively in the UK. This exposes it to increased tariffs and supply-chain disruptions from a disorderly Brexit, which could undermine its competitive positioning and affect cash generation. JLR's efforts to diversify its production base will ease the imbalance in the medium term but vulnerabilities remain high in the short term," the ratings agency says.
 
JLR accounts for the majority of Tata Motor's EBITDA generation and has a significant production bias to the UK despite a reasonable degree of geographic diversification in its sales mix. 
 
Fitch says, "Production imbalance in the JLR business exposes Tata Motor's credit profile to a no-deal Brexit scenario, whose likelihood has risen over the past few weeks. The JLR business also faces risks from a fluid global tariff situation, its weakening competitive positioning in China, and the impact of tightening emission regulations on its product portfolio which is focused heavily on diesel."
 
According to the ratings agency, trade barriers and logistic issues arising upon a disorderly Brexit could have an impact on JLR's competitive positioning, and lead to significantly lower sales and profitability and higher working-capital needs. "This is likely to outweigh improving operating performance in Tata Motor's India business, and lead to significantly lower cash generation and higher leverage than our rating case," it added.
 
Fitch sees material impact of the Brexit on financial profile of Tata Motors as well. It says, "The potential impact of a disorderly Brexit on cash generation would outweigh growth in the India business, resulting in a substantially weaker  consolidated financial profile for Tata Motors." 
 
Fitch estimates that Tata Motor free cash flow (FCF) to be significantly lower over FY19 and FY20 in a "hard Brexit" scenario compared with its rating case. This, the ratings agency says, is due to a combination of lower profitability, higher working-capital needs and substantial capex, despite management's restructuring measures. "In our view, Tata Motor has only a limited flexibility to cut its capex meaningfully at JLR as it will be essential to maintain JLR's long-term positioning in view of emerging sector trends," it added. 
 
Although the group has a comfortable liquidity, there are risks from disorderly Brexit. Tata Motors has a readily available cash balance of Rs390 billion at FY2018 (estimate) was adequate to meet Rs180 billion of debt, both excluding the financial-services business maturing in FY2019. The liquidity profile is further supported by a balanced debt-maturity profile, recent refinancing activities in JLR and undrawn committed credit facilities - including 1.9 billion pounds available to JLR (about Rs178 billion) and Rs20 billion to Tata Motors as of 30 September 2018. 
 
Fitch expects TML's liquidity to comfortably cover a moderate level of negative FCF forecast for FY19. Nonetheless, a disorderly Brexit could lead to significantly lower profitability and working-capital build-up, which could lead to deterioration in free cash generation and put pressure on liquidity.
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