BSNL fixes special broadband rates for rural areas

NEW DELHI: At a time when the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has expressed concern over the low penetration of broadband into the interiors of the country, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has extended its landline broadband network to rural areas with affordable tariff plans to bridge the rural–urban digital divide.
The rural plans are available on usage based charging as well as in unlimited usage category and are considerably cheaper than the plans offered to urban areas due to subsidy component from USOF fund.

Trai had in a consultation paper recently noted that it is a matter of concern that broadband penetration in India is low in spite of the fact that 104 telecom service providers are providing broadband services. The broadband penetration is just 0.74 per cent when compared with teledensity of 52.74 per cent. It said a need is being felt to identify impediments and create an environment to encourage broadband growth. The net broadband addition per month is just 0.1 to 0.2 million in contrast to approximately 18 million mobile connections per month, Trai said. 
According to the BSNL plan, rural Broadband tariff plans start from a low monthly fixed charge of Rs 99. Under BBG Rural USOF 99 plan and BBG Rural USOF 150 Plan, the customer gets download speed of up to 2 Mbps and is allowed 400 MB and 1 GB free usage per month respectively. Customer has to pay telephone connection charges separately under both these plans.
BSNL also has Combo Plans with combined fixed monthly charges for both landline and Broadband together. Under the Combo category, BSNL offers four plans exclusively for rural areas. Under BBG Rural Combo 250 plan, the customer gets download speed of up to 2Mbps, is provided with free 1 GB Broadband usage and 100 calls (MCU) free of cost per month. Under BBG Rural Combo 550 and Under BBG Rural Combo 999 plans, the customer gets download speed of up to 2Mbps, is provided with 6 GB and 12 GB Broadband usage and also 250 and 450 calls (MCU) respectively free of cost per month at no extra cost.

BSNL also offers an unlimited BB Home Rural Combo UL 500 Plan, in which customer gets 512 kbps download speed up to 4 GB download and 256 kbps beyond that. The customer also gets 150 calls (MCU) free of cost at no extra cost under this unlimited plan.

Under all these plans no charges for registration, modem, security deposit and installation is taken from the customer in rural areas.

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