New entrant in Internet service - BSNL to introduce broadband network in city

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 25.05.04
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May 25: Not content with i-way and Magic Surf, city cyber buffs are now looking forward to the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) introducing its broadband access network service.

For them, the BSNL’s entry into the broadband service would ensure competitive rates and quality Internet service.

Official sources said the BSNL is conducting a survey before venturing into the project, which it hopes to introduce in the city by the end of this year. “Actual work for installation of broadband service will start in two months’ time.

Fibre optic cables will be laid in the customers’ homes directly and they will be able to access the Internet, television, radio and high-speed data circuits through the same cable,” a BSNL official said.

At present, Sify -i-way and the local company Amtron’s Magic Serf are the city’s two broadband service providers. While the Sify service is wireless, cable is used by Amtron, which has customers in Guwahati, Jorhat and Digboi.

Altogether 14 out of 104 cyber cafes in the city are providing i-way broadband service.

According to a conservative estimate, around 50,000 people have Internet connections at home. The official said the BSNL broadband service would be the best among the existing ones. “Video conferencing, online game, on-demand video and several other packages will be available through the BSNL broadband,” he added.

Johar Bhattacharjee, proprietor of a cyber cafe, said though Sify is not providing inadequate service, competition from the BSNL and other broadband service providers was always welcome.

“We do not want to be taken for a ride by Sify. I have spent Rs 800,000 to create infrastructure necessary to access i-way broadband service. The business between Sify and my firm runs on a 30:70 ratio basis,” he said.

Shyamal Kumar Bhuyan, deputy manager of IT of Amtron, said there were plans to extend the company’s broadband magic serve service to all the districts of Assam.

“We have received good response in Guwahati, Jorhat and Digboi at the initial stage. Amtron will now introduce dial-up service,” he added.

Johar is not alone. City cyber cafe owners, majority of whom are unemployed youths, are waiting eagerly for the BSNL and other broadband service providers to introduce their services.

“The cyber revolution has already gripped the city. But there is enough to do from the government’s end. Frequent loadshedding is taking a heavy toll,” said Johar.