The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Earth station shift sign

Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) is set to shift the earth station from atop the SDF Building in Salt Lake to its Ultadanga office. The move is likely to affect connectivity for companies in the Salt Lake Electronics Complex (Saltlec), being served through satellite links.

Sources in the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) said some companies have already approached them for bandwidth. The STPI presently provides 50 mbps of bandwidth across the eastern region. “If the satellite connection is shifted from the SDF Building, there is a feeling that quality of connectivity may suffer. We have approached the STPI for additional bandwidth and are in the process of finalising tariffs,” confirmed an official of a software firm in Saltlec.

VSNL officials did not confirm the shift, referring to it as an “internal matter”, but said they would ensure that services were not disrupted in the event of such a move. “We will provide connections through optical fibres instead of satellite-based links. There is no question of connectivity being affected,” they asserted.

The company has the capability of providing bandwidth ranging from 64 kbps to 155 mbps. The Ultadanga building already has a high-power antenna on its rooftop.

The decision could be part of VSNL’s strategy to migrate from satellite-based links to cheaper optical-fibre cable-based international cable systems to meet its global connectivity requirements. The company meets 30 per cent of its international connectivity through high-cost satellite links.

As part of this strategy, VSNL has already stopped operating the earth station at Halishahar, one of its two gateways in the region, and has shifted the employees to the head office.

Another reason cited for the move is security. “The Ultadanga office has its own security system. Though we have strict procedures for our own floors in the SDF Building, it is not possible to monitor movement on other floors,” said a VSNL official.

According to a Webel spokesperson, if VSNL decides to shift the earth station, besides connectivity, it could also affect the marketing strategy of the state’s nodal IT agency, as proximity to the earth station was one of Saltlec’s selling points.

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