NTA has declared it illegal for ISPs to bundle IPTV and routers and offer them for free on their internet packages. Arguing that the bundling of other services in the internet package violates the conditions of the license agreement, it has called on service providers to stop the growing marketing strategy immediately.
Many ISPs include in their internet package an IPTV subscription. Lately, companies have also included a free router to promote their internet deals. However, regulator NTA says ISPs do not reveal the cost of IPTV and router in their internet package and reasons that such marketing behavior goes against the agreement.
“At the moment, it is illegal to bundle the price of internet service with IPTV, an ONU device, or a router and claim that those additional services come for free,” the authority said in a statement to the ISPs. “Such practice should stop immediately as it violates the ‘cross-subsidy’ policy on the license agreement,” Adds NTA.
Besides, the authority has urged service providers to issue separate invoices for joint charges on both internet and IPTV.
The demand is that the companies clearly state the cost of internet charges, maintenance fees, installation, router charges, etc.
The motive behind outlawing ‘bundled offers’ is to contain the aggressive internet speed war in Nepal among internet service providers.
The regulator has not been favorable of the speed war in the market. Previously, it issued a notice to the ISPs urging them not to engage in an ‘unnecessary’ speed war. They also noted that ISPs offered high-speed internet packages without obtaining the mandatory service charge approval.
With the new directive, however, ISPs will need to specify the cost of each service in the bundled ‘internet package’. On the other hand, customers will get to know how much they are paying for the internet, IPTV, router, etc.
Do you approve of the decision by NTA to restrict ISPs from bundling IPTV and routers for ‘free’ for internet subscribers? Do you think it hurts your chance of subscribing to a new ISP? You can share with us in the comments below.