BSNL broadband connectivity was lost in 2009 road widening

Bangalore may have earned the sobriquet of Silicon Valley of India, but it has not brought any relief to young students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in Yelahanka. The school, which lost the crucial broadband and landline connectivity, provided by the BSNL in March 2009, is yet to see them restored.

The JNV, which provides subsidised education, has been established to cater to the needs of children from socially backward communities. Nearly 540 children from across the country are studying in the residential school besides the teaching and non-teaching staff who live on the school's campus. Children, who have opted for computer science, have been hit the hardest.

It all started with the Bagalur-Devanahalli airport road-widening work in 2009 when numerous other BSNL subscribers lost both landline and broadband connectivity. The road work, however, was completed about a year ago, yet BSNL lines have not been restored. “They had assured us that the connections would be restored soon after the project was completed,” P.V. Rateesh Kumar, a faculty member told The Hindu.

While most other BSNL subscribers opted for phone and broadband connections from private operators, the school could not follow suit. “Since we are a government entity, we are under obligation to seek services from government-owned BSNL. A wireless in local loop (WiLL) connection was provided as an alternative, which also does not work properly,” Mr. Kumar lamented. Office functions have been affected due to non-availability of fax and broadband connections. Repeated efforts to convince the BSNL authorities have not borne fruit, he said.

Meanwhile, the BSNL offered to provide broadband facility on Fibre to the Home (FTTH) facility. Mr. Kumar, however, said: “The FTTH services cost a minimum of Rs. 2,999 under unlimited download plan, while the normal broadband services would cost Rs. 750 per month. Being a government run-school, Navodaya cannot afford services at high cost.”

BSNL's response

A senior BSNL official, who chose to remain anonymous, said: “New cables have to be laid for about 3 to 4 km on that route, and only then will we be able to restore the connection. We have sent the request for the cables. However, we cannot commit when it can be accomplished.”

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