M. Dinesh Varma

CHENNAI: BSNL Chennai Telephones will shortly introduce online intimation of an approaching threshold limit for broadband users who have opted for limited packages.

Following user feedback as well as a few complaints from subscribers about having unwittingly run up hefty DataOne bills, Chennai Telephones has decided to provide online warnings on the exhaustion of the data limit prescribed in a particular plan.

“We’re working on issuing some form of an online alert, perhaps a pop-up, when an Internet user nears the threshold,” a BSNL official told The Hindu.

An option will also be made available to the users for Internet connectivity to go off as soon as the threshold is crossed, the official said.

Currently, for a Rs.500 DataOne Home Plan the download/upload limit is 2.5 GB of data. However, there is no alert to the user even if crosses the threshold unless he diligently keeps regularly revisiting the user account.

Meanwhile, Chennai Telephones which recorded the highest broadband growth with 1.90 lakh users among metro circles in India, has put in place the logistics for the “Multiplay”, a fast-track suite of gaming, video-on-demand and other slick features that will enhance the broadband experience for users.

To keep pace with the growing demand, the department has put in place about 3.20 lakh new ports for issuing more connections. Of this, 2.6 lakh ports are slotted for “Multiplay” connections. The D-SLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) equipment for “Multiplay” has been installed across all telephone exchanges, an official said.

For existing users, upgradation to “Multiplay” is provided free as an online download or on CDs. The tariffs, however, would work differently once the user starts downloading bulk data.

“All new connections are being provided through the Multiplay ports,” the official said.

Already, subscribers who have opted for the “Multiplay” feature are able to do video-conferencing if they have a camera hook-up. BSNL’s corporate office is drafting in content developers for adding diversity to the features on “Multiplay.”

Last week, the chief of Data Network of BSNL from New Delhi had visited Chennai to review, among others things, the broadband infrastructure.

Meanwhile, several subscriber complaints about “over-billing” has forced a rethink on allowing users the option of unlocking the “port binding,” or the locking in of their broadband user account to a fixed line connection to prevent abuse.

In quite a few instances, users who opted to unlock the “port binding” feature to allow them access from any other port (phone with DataOne facility), have come back with complaints about abuse of their user id and password, an official said.

“We are providing port binding as default. The instances of misuse and password thefts have compelled us to invoke disclaimers for those who opt out of this protective measure,” he said.