The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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R-Day launch for broadband

New Delhi, Jan. 2: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, the state-owned telephone service provider, is launching its broadband service in seven cities, including Calcutta, on January 26.

BSNL subscribers will get a range of services on one cable link: telephone, cable TV, high-speed Internet access, movie and music downloads and a suite of other value-added services like video-on-demand and video conferencing.

The telephony major, which made a soft launch of this broadband service with 48 clients in Calcutta last year, is racing to offer its broadband facility to customers before competitors like Reliance get into the act. The commercial launch of the service is scheduled for August 15.

“We are yet to finalise the details of the tariff for such services. But they will certainly match any competitive rates to be offered by private companies that plan to offer a similar service,” said a top BSNL official.

Initially. the service will be available to customers in seven cities — Calcutta, Ahemadabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune — and also in at least one city per telecom circle.

In order to access the broadband services, customers will be provided with next-generation telecom equipment that will be fitted at their homes and offices. This will ensure that voice services and broadband services are simultaneously multiplexed on the existing copper loop.

The value-added services will be provided without disrupting the existing telephone service. “We were waiting for the reports from the soft launch in Calcutta. There were a few problems in terms of last-mile access but we have found ways to overcome those problems and the service can be launched as per schedule,” said a BSNL official.

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