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 BSNL Broadband - BSNL DataOne, General Thoughts

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Number of posts : 1850
Age : 55
Registration date : 2008-03-08

PostSubject: BSNL Broadband - BSNL DataOne, General Thoughts   Tue 8 Apr - 23:00

Insanities offered by BSNL Broadband

BSNL has finally jumped in the broadband arena with a watered down offering. However, there is much more than that meets the eye and the primary precaution of caveat emptor (buyer beware) applies here.

One needs to appreciate the basic mentality of the government that takes our intelligence for granted every time. The tariffs so far announced have the provision to buy a modem outright or pay a non-refundable security of Rs 500/- Incase the modem is on rental it would entail the cost of Rs 100 per month. I believe that it is much more prudent to have a buy back offer for the same. What if one needs to shift on to any other service provider in the near future? This is not justified if we are saddled with a modem for which we would have no use. It is abusing the monopoly for its own ends. However, we do not have any say.

The download limits remain a bone of contention. This is inexcusable. The ISPs are worried about the abuse of their bandwidth being utilized for file sharing or downloading excessively. However, I fail to understand that if the current encumbment wants to enter in the streaming media offering or TV on Internet then how the current quota of 1 GB is proposed to be utilized.

I have mailed to the top heads of BSNL but have got no reply from them at all. Perhaps they feel that they are not answerable to the queries at all. In this age of broadband elsewhere, it is only on the dial up where one could get unlimited bandwidth. Albeit at a price which defies explanation in the age of falling tariffs. I suggest that in case one exceeds the download limit, the speed at the end user premises could be reduced. There is no rationale for charging extra for exceeding the limits, which are ludicrous. Moreover, BSNL has not clearly mentioned the way that they would be calculating the usage pattern of the downloads. There are lots of ifs and buts here. What would happen in case you load the data intensive page? At current estimates, the allotted bandwidth would finish off by around 9-12 hours. (for the 256 kbps plan at approx Rs660 per month inclusive of the rental and the service tax).Perhaps they could advertise as “Check email by speed of Broadband”. This way I would not have felt offended to say the least. The media further compounds the problem by calling India as IT superpower. No wonder these people are hand in glove with each other. The silver lining is that its unlimited bandwidth for the first 6 months. A more prudent offer could have been a promise to review the prices in the near future with the charges recovered for broadband through value added services like streaming media, online gaming or the content that is proposed to be introduced after about 6 months. The net access could have been subsidized to more manageable levels easily. This could have ensured the rapid scale up of customers and the critical mass of people paying over the long term for the infrastructure costs. Low cost would spread Internet rapidly. Small incremental numbers make more sense than hoping for a magic wand to ramp up numbers at the day of launch itself.

Let us hope and wait for the customer review here its welcome in this Blog.

Currently the international bandwidth prices are dirt-cheap. It is the mode of last mile access that is difficult. ADSL is the tried and tested way of getting it to your doorstep. However, as I had mentioned earlier in the post, it is the refusal of BSNL to open up the local loop that is hindering the spread of internet. Why do they want to protect their network, which in fact belongs to the public anyway? Is there a case for filing in the courts on the basis of unfair trade practices? I believe that there could be one.

Ultimately, its clear that BSNL protests too much if there is any cut in the revenues. Perhaps the reason is the refusal of the finance ministry to bail out the overstaffed and bloated and incompetent wing of the government. It is for this reason that BSNL protested when the cut in the Access Deficit Charge was announced. It is no ones business if the end customer pays much more than it is required for.

Finally, we are all in this. I suggest that there ought to be an email campaign to be started complaining about the sorry state of affairs. Write back to the Minister of Communications and the top officers of BSNL. Make your voice heard to the respective General Managers of your telecom circle. Their email ids are publicly available. Until the time we do not get our act together, these people would take us all for granted. It is unfair that in matters of national importance we choose to sit back and let others take the initiative. In my experience, no one can jail you for complaining. It is another matter if you become abusive!

It is a matter of few more months. To capture the market share, these companies would have to reduce the prices further and remove the download limits. This can only come through if more competition is allowed in the market. Maybe Reliance could do something for broadband access that it did for the mobile tariffs. Since their broadband launch date is not known, it maybe prudent to sign up for BSNL broadband and keep hoping. As I mentioned, at least for the first 6 months its unlimited bandwidth. Perhaps the day when we d have REAL broadband at 1 Mbps and above, truly this country would have achieved its true potential.
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