Dial ups regain popularity in Gujarat

DQW Bureau
08 Dec 2003


Dial ups were never a favored way of connecting to the net in the broadband

age. But customers have realized that broadband is nothing more than hype.

Gujarat has Iqara, E-Comm and some other cable network, but all of them have

concentrated on commer-cial areas and have entered into tangles with the local

cable tele-vision operators.

Gujarat is expected to see an appreciable rise in the usage of dial-up

connections, provided a few bottlenecks are sorted out. Most ISPs have reported

declining dial-ups over the past year or so due to availability of cable

Internet and some inhe-rent problems in accessing the Internet through dial up


However, ISPs are aggressi-vely looking at dial-ups once again, spurred by

the recently-announced decision of BSNL to give an extra line to existing

telephone connection holders.


As per the scheme declared by BSNL, Internet access will be free for existing

BSNL conne-ction holders through an extra line to be provided by it. How-ever,

BSNL will charge a mon-thly rental of Rs 500 for this facility. BSNL will not

give an instrument for this facility, as it is meant only for Internet access

and not for voice calls. This line has been configured in such a way that it is

compa-tible with ISPs using the code ‘172’ to start their dial up.

"Dial ups suffered for quite a while because the telephone charges were

quite high at Rs 24 per hour," Opera-tions and Communications

assistant VP Sonal Shah infor-med. "But with the new scheme announced by

BSNL, which will do away with the telephone usage charges, consumers can effect

considerable savings while using a dial-up conne-ction.

Accordingly, we expect renewed demand for dial up connections," she



However, in typical govern-ment fashion, there is no clarity yet about the

modalities of the scheme. "When we ask for the forms for taking the new

conn-ection, we are told they are not available yet," said a harassed

customer, who has been calling up BSNL officials ever since the scheme was


There is also no clarity on whether the new connection will come with a

separate num-ber. "If it is going to be just an extra line parallel to the

existing number, then the original line will get held up when the new line is in

use," said a telecom expert.

Furthermore, the existent scheme of BSNL, NetOne, the account-less Internet

access service on a post-paid usage basis, requires a telephone number for

registration. "If the new line will not come with a new number, then the

NetOne service will not work," experts pointed out.

Meanwhile, ISPs are readying new dial-up packages in view of the BSNL scheme

as per which it will give an extra line to existing telephone connec-tion

holders as per which Internet access will be free.

Binu Alex

(CyberMedia News Service)