Even as the Bangalore Telecom District (BTD) of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) was adjudged the best maintained telecom system at the national level this year, BSNL subscribers in Bangalore continue to face a plethora of ordeals including deficiency of services in broadband, non-responsive call centres and abnormal delay in restoration of services.

Though penetrations of mobile technology have made landline phones almost redundant for voice telephony, a majority of existing subscribers are retaining them and new ones are being obtained from BSNL only for broadband services. BSNL’s broadband services, which operate through the wired connection (with a combination of optical fibre cable and copper cable), are opted for their speed and connectivity. However, it takes days together for the BTD to restore the services in cases of disruption even as deficient back-end support drives customers to desperation.

Raveendranath, an engineer in the power sector and resident of Indiranagar, bought a new Apple system and was in need of technical guidance to adapt it to the BSNL broadband. When he called the BTD’s call centre on 1500, he was promptly redirected to 1504, the outsourced call centre of the BTD meant for back-end support for broadband customers.

“I could not get connected to the operator at all on the first day and on subsequent two occasions, proper technical support did not come by. It took four days to get proper technical assistance,” Mr. Raveendranath told The Hindu. His son, who has got broadband connection from a private service provider, would get message alerts even if there was a few minutes’ disruption in services, he added.

On the other hand, Shubhalakshmi R., who has a broadband connection from Kengeri telephone exchange, has been facing frequent interruption and disconnection. Despite repeated complaints to the personnel at the telephone exchange, the problem had not been rectified, she said.

At Yelahanka New Town, hundreds of BSNL landline connections got disconnected during the widening of the Doddaballapur Road a couple of months ago. Having waited for several days and sensing no signs of restoration of connections, many BSNL subscribers went for private service providers, said Divya Rajagopalan, a homemaker in the locality.

Responding to the complaints, Shubhendu Ghosh, Principal General Manager, BTD, said non-redressal of grievances at 1504 was “news” for him.

He said 1504 was an outsourced call centre and he constantly monitored its functioning. A toll-free number (1800 424 1600) was also available for broadband customers for redressal of grievances, Mr. Ghosh added. On mass-migration of BSNL customers at Yelahanka New Town, Mr. Ghosh said he did not have any information on it.

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