Responding to subscriber calls, the BSNL Chennai Telephones has introduced a system that allows its landline users to keep a tab on broadband usage.

Significantly, in doing so, Chennai Telephones has also opened up its SMS short code to landline subscribers with non-CellOne mobile connections to help them monitor broadband usage. Though SMS short codes of a service provider are usually not accessible to other operators, Chennai Telephones has addressed the duality of BSNL landline users with a non-CellOne mobile phone by providing a separate SMS short code.

Any customer on the BSNL mobile network can learn about the broadband usage for any landline by texting “bbu<space>044xxxxxxxx” to 52295. Within seconds of the message being sent, the usage details is intimated by a return SMS. The usage is calculated with reference to the month beginning till date. For those who want to send SMS from other mobile (non-BSNL) numbers can type “bbu<space>044xxxxxxxx” and send it to 9448077777.

The mechanism follows subscribers of various DataOne plans asking for a way to keep a tab on usage among family members, officials said. Though the BSNL has been giving indicative data consumption levels on its website to help customers who opt for plans with free usage ranging from 150 MB to 1 GB, subscribers find it difficult to track usage levels when there are multiple users at home. The new service would help homes where members have varied Internet behaviour, an official said. It would also remove room for subscribers unwittingly overshooting the free usage threshold. The reply SMS would show the current usage as well as the free limit for any given number. There is one more system where a customer can register his telephone number to receive SMS alerts whenever the broadband usage exceeds the free limit. Information on new broadband plans would also be sent by SMS alerts.

The short code for this is “reg<space>044xxxxxxxx” and it should be sent to 52295 or 9448077777 as the case may be. This service is available free of charge to the customer with only SMS charges as per their respective plans.

Customers who are surprised when they unknowingly exceed their free limit and end up paying hefty bills will be benefited.