The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Calphones revises Net access tariff

With private Internet service providers breathing down its neck, Calcutta Telephones has revised its Net access tariff to divide it into three subscriber-friendly, “affordable” plans. The revision is an effort to tap the four-lakh user market.

Sharing his plans with Metro, chief general manager S.P. Chakravarty said the new tariff structure would come into effect from Wednesday. “The rates have been devised keeping in mind the three categories of users — the low-end, middle-level and high-end commercial subscribers,’’ he said.

According to the telecom authorities, in Plan I — tailor-made for low-end users, meaning those who access the Net for not more than two hours every day — subscribers have to pay a non-refundable registration charge of Rs 2,000. The monthly rental is Rs 850 and a subscriber can surf for two hours for free.

The authorities clarified that a subscriber can access the Net for more than the free hours, for which he will be charged at Rs 120 per 100 megabyte. In Plan II, the registration charge is Rs 3,000 and monthly rental is Rs 1,800 for six hours of free surfing every day. This plan has been drawn up to suit the middle-level surfer’s pocket.

In Plan III, the registration charges are Rs 3,000, while rental is Rs 5,500 per month, for which a subscriber will have free access to the Net for 24 hours.

Calcutta Telephones had introduced the DIAS (direct Internet access system) in December last year. Telecom officials said in this system, a subscriber does not need a modem or a telephone to access the Internet. “We lay cables and instruments, through which a subscriber can access the Net,’’ an officer explained.

The telecom utility has been able to rope in 200 Internet subscribers in the past three months under this scheme. “Initially, the tariff was high and the subscribers had to dish out Rs 5,000 to avail of the services,’’ general manager (customer relations) R.K. Mishra admitted. “With these subscriber-friendly plans, we hope to get several thousand Internet customers within the next few months,’’ he added.

According to the Calcutta Telephones authorities, forms with details of the three tariff plans will be available with respective area managers in the city. “Customers will have to fill up the form and deposit the money. Our engineers and workmen will make the connection within 48 hours,’’ Chakravarty asserted.

Telecom officials clarified that a subscriber intending to withdraw from the scheme has to write to the local area manager for necessary disconnection.

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