Staff Reporter

PUDUCHERRY: If you are in Puducherry and are planning to get a BSNL landline connection, do it on or after Monday, you will get a rent-free connection for three months. Called "Dharadattam", the scheme is a first of its kind in the country and is launched in Puducherry SSA on a trial basis, said R Marshal Leo Antony, General Manager, BSNL, Puducherry.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Saturday, he said that these subscribers would get to listen to a 10 sec advertisement of RmKV Silks. The rental would otherwise be Rs.180 per month, which is the minimum. They will get a free instrument with caller identification.

"During these months there will not be any free calls for these customers. Booking is made with an initial deposit of Rs.500, and the balance of Rs. 500 will be collected with the next two bills." This scheme, he said was to bring in more customers for landlines. Recent customer care programmes had brought in around 6,000 customers for the b-fone service. At present BSNL Puducherry had a customer base of 72,000 b-fone subscribers. He said that a round-the-clock service centre had been opened for the 6,000 broadband customers. Customers can dial 1955 if they had any problems and they would either be guided or technical staff will visit to correct the problem.

Mr. Antony also said that all WLL telephone numbers starting with 21 had been changed to 29. Six more BTS towers had been added to provide carpet coverage throughout the Puducherry SSA. They would be introducing a new system by which the speed of broadband connectivity in the WLL-CDMA network will be up to 2 Mbps.

A. Robert Jerard Ravi, Deputy General Manager (T), said that they were also offering Virtual Private Network (VPN) over DSL (digital subscriber loop) broadband service to corporates, Government departments, PSUs and education institutions.

BSNL would introduce post-paid dial up VPN service for MPLS VPN customers (those who have dedicated leased line) from May 1. S N Rajendran, Deputy General Manager (F) was also present.