labels: bharat sanchar nigam ltd, telecom
BSNL is likely to slash its DSL rates to Rs 980 per month news
Venkatachari Jagannathan
15 February 2003

Chennai: In an aggressive move to expand its broadband Internet services — 128 kbps dedicated service with unlimited downloads — Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) is likely to slash its digital subscriber line (DSL) rates to Rs 980 per month from the present rate of Rs 1,800.

Apart from the monthly charges, all that a subscriber has to shell out is Rs 2,000 as a one-time connection charge and Rs 3,000 as refundable security deposit to get a connection.

On an experimental basis, BSNL started offering the ‘always-on’ (24-hour Net connectivity) broadband service — Direct Internet Access Service (DIAS) — in one city in each telecom circle. The major advantage of the service is that a subscriber can simultaneously browse the Net as well as use the phone to make or receive voice calls. “It is like having two phone connections,” says a BSNL official.

Though BSNL offered just 120 connections in each city, all were immediately sold out and the demand is very high given the attractive rates. The demand is expected to further swell, as BSNL’s proposed rate is far less than what Bharti Telenet or cable ISPs charge for a similar connection.

For example, a 64-kbps DSL connection costs an individual Rs 995 per month with usage restrictions — 100 hours per month and 1 GB download. While the non-refundable security deposit is Rs 3,000, the cost of the modem works out to Rs 8,000. In the case of 128 kbps connection, the monthly rental is Rs 2,900 with a download limit of 5 GB and a non-refundable security deposit of Rs 8,000.

BSNL’s move is expected to force other broadband players to cut their charges and the most affected will be the cable ISPs who are expecting large-scale migration of dial-up subscribers, thanks to the proposed tariff revision by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). TRAI has proposed to revise the call pulse to two minutes, which in turn would pinch the entire dial-up subscribers.

Karthik Bhaskaran, sales, marketing and customer services, south India, Hathway Cable & Datacom says: “BSNL’s move to revise its rates will not affect us. With respect to the migration of the dial-up subscriber following TRAI’s proposed tariffs, only those users who browse the Net for over 30 minutes will shift to cable connection.”

Be that as it may, BSNL is also turning aggressive in respect of its narrow band and dial-up connection augmenting its bandwidth requirements. The company has around 3 lakh dial-up subscribers now and offers an attractive postpaid facility. The company charges just 10 paise per minute of Net access.

 

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BSNL is likely to slash its DSL rates to Rs 980 per month