Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on Saturday withdrew an order that required the institutional buyers to purchase annual tariff plans of BSNL broadband, landline and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections. According to the earlier order issued on April 9, BSNL said that its services would be offered only to those institutional buyers who availed the annual tariff plans. The operator highlighted that the institutional buyers include central, state and private organizations. Crucially, BSNL said that the annual plan order was applicable only to the institutional buyers with the operator introducing no changes for the retail and individual users.
BSNL FTTH Providers Lost Subscribers
However, the order issued by BSNL in April received polarised response partly due to the inclusion of the FTTH services in the notification. BSNL said in April that the move was mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic that had resulted in reduced workforce.
“As you are aware that, due to ongoing lockdown due to spread of corona virus, there is very limited staff strength available in the field units,” P D Chirania, finance GM at BSNL, said in the notification in April. “There is a need to prioritize customer requests for telecom services.”
Vinay Bhatt, a Twitter user said that the BSNL order issued in April favored private players and highlighted that BSNL FTTH services are provided through cable operators.
“BSNL killing self business by restrictions of FTTH monthly plans to business/institutions. No one willing and not have enough money to pay 12 months rent in advance. Please withdraw these orders. FTTH service is provided by cable operator at his own expenses and manpower [sic],” Bhatt said in a tweet.
Additionally, Bhatt said that the cable operators are losing “valuable customers” as several institutions including those in the educational field are moving to private players due to restrictions imposed by BSNL.
BSNL Institutional Users Can Now Opt for Monthly Plans
BSNL on Saturday said that the order issued in April requiring the institutional buyers to opt for annual plans was being withdrawn due to “difficulty faced by circles.”
Further, the operator said that the order was withdrawn from all BSNL telecom circles.