Telangana

State government turns a rival for BSNL

Digital Telangana: Workers laying fibre optic cable at Busimetta camp, a village in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.

Digital Telangana: Workers laying fibre optic cable at Busimetta camp, a village in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.   | Photo Credit: S. HARPAL SINGH;S. HARPAL SINGH - S_ HARPAL SINGH

Its expansion plan hits bumpy road owing to government’s fibre grid programme

The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) considers the Telangana State government as its rival for taking up the fibre grid programme of laying optic fibre cable across the State along with the Mission Bhagiratha water pipeline. “The programme seems more of a business venture than one with some altruistic sense,” opined an official of the telecom giant as he compared the Digital India and Digital Telangana programmes.

The BSNL is set to expand its network in its Adilabad Telecom District (encompassing Adilabad, Kumram Bheem Asifabad, Mancherial and Nirmal districts) in the second phase of Digital India programme of the Centre by laying OFC and erecting cell towers. The aim of the programme is to make internet accessible in rural areas, including far-flung gram panchayats.

The State government has also planned to provide internet connectivity to the remotest of the habitations through its Digital Telangana endeavour. The rationale behind the project is that the government could save money as the OFC would be laid in the trenches that have already been dug for water pipeline.

“The question is whether providing internet should be a priority for the State government in the utterly backward areas of Adilabad,” another official said. “These areas need water and other basic amenities urgently,” he pointed out as he dwelt at length on the government initiative.

The argument notwithstanding, the erstwhile Adilabad seems to have a better potential for business expansion in the field of use of mobile technology for data calls than many other districts in the State. The BSNL generates a revenue of about ₹44 crore a year in this district, 80% of which comes from data and voice calls.

“We already have 137 towers and will install 3G and 2G towers at 90 more places which include the remotest Alampalli in Nirmal district and Rompalli in KB Asifabad. The Bharat Broadband Network Limited will also establish a customer service centre in every village in the coming months,” said BSNL Adilabad DGM S. Nagi Reddy.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 5:47:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/state-government-turns-a-rival-for-bsnl/article18721379.ece

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