Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on Tuesday revamped its broadband and Bharat Fiber plans for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on a promotional basis. The development is on the heels of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the submarine Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) connectivity between Chennai and Andman and Nicobar Islands on Monday. The OFC connecting Chennai and Port Blair is said to deliver 2x 200 Gbps between the two cities and 2×100 Gbps between Port Blair and other islands. BSNL on Sunday announced a “bonza in terms of high internet speed and multiple times increase in volume of data downloads to all its wireline and mobile customers in the islands.”
Several BSNL Users Report No Enhancements to Existing Plans
While several BSNL users on Twitter including T.K.Jijith Rekh, state spokesperson of BJP Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported an increase in download speeds, others reported no enhancements to their existing plans. Further, certain BSNL users who had initially noticed improvements on their plan later highlighted that their plan details have “reversed after midnight” on the BSNL portal with these users also reporting dip in speeds.
It has to be noted that BSNL was earlier scheduled to revamp its broadband and Bharat Fiber plans in the Andman and Nicobar on July 1. However, the operator pushed back the revamp of its plans that was tied to the CANI project to August. Similar to its current scenario, multiple BSNL users in July had initially noticed changes to their plans, only to later report that BSNL “reversed” the plan details on the portal.
Unlike the previous month where BSNL issued notifications through flyers in the region about the plan change, BSNL has now updated the revamped plans on the dedicated Andaman and Nicobar section of its website.
Rohit Singh, a BSNL broadband user in Port Blair said that the BSNL portal had initially reflected the new enhanced plan only for the operator to reverse it in the night. Singh said that he uses multiple internet connections each month including three ADSL and one Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) connection.
As part of the BSNL revamp, Singh told TelecomTalk that BSNL on one of his connections should have upgraded him from the 4 Mbps till 25GB per month plan to the daily 10GB plan. While BSNL initially enhanced him to the daily 10GB plan, Singh said that the operator reverted him to his old plan that offers 25GB per month. Singh said that he is now worried about the data overages on his DSL connection.
“Even the billing dept is not sure how they will bill for this month,” Singh told TelecomTalk.
Singh said that he moved to his hometown Port Blair due to the COVID-19 lockdown in March and that he pays over Rs 10,000 per month on the internet connections.
“I myself working for a Telecom giant, who manufacture 5G devices,” Singh said. “Working in such environments is the worse [sic].”
Singh said that the revamped BSNL plans with enhanced speeds were initially supposed to launch in March but that the project was pushed back due to COVID-19.
“Many VIP areas were getting good speed via OFC,” Singh said. “I could see it by the ping statistics. Later when [the] cyclone came it was a complete collapse and they unofficially switched to OFC but didn't launch, I used to work from [the] road in the nights where the Mobile speeds were good, later got 1 Mbps speed when they switched.”
Singh said that the users in Andaman and Nicobar had to pay 10 times more on the internet connections as compared to the users in mainland. Crucially, Singh said that the expensive internet in the Andman and Nicobar region has hurt the students as they couldn’t afford the internet and had lost the online classes.
“I even gave [the] internet as [and] when possible to few students whenever it was available,” Singh said. “The amount spent over [the] internet is equal to paying for a new bike or atleast car down payment.”
It remains to be seen if BSNL enables the enhanced plan to all the users on the island or permanently switches back to the old plans. However, as noted, BSNL has updated the new plans on its website on a promotional basis.
BSNL Unveils Revamped ADSL Broadband Plans in Andaman and Nicobar
According to the BSNL site, the state-run operator will offer eight enhanced broadband plans on a promotional basis till November 7, 2020.
BSNL highlighted that the base plan priced at Rs 350 per month will be enhanced from up to 2 Mbps speed with 2GB data limit to 4 Mbps speed till 30GB.
The Rs 650 plan that offered up to 2 Mbps speed till 4GB is said to be enhanced to up to 8 Mbps speed till 60GB. Further, the Rs 1000 plan that offers up to 2 Mbps speed till 10GB is said to receive an enhancement to up to 10 Mbps speed till 120GB.
The operator has highlighted that the Rs 350, Rs 650 and the Rs 1000 plans will all continue to have the post fair usage policy (FUP) speeds of 512 Kbps.
BSNL has also enhanced the Rs 1750 plan that previously offered up to 4 Mbps speed till 25GB per month to up to 10 Mbps speed till 10GB per day. It was said that the operator caps the speeds to 1 Mbps upon reaching the limit on the Rs 1750 plan.
The Rs 2750 plan that earlier offered up to 4 Mbps speed till 50GB per month is said to be enhanced to up to 10 Mbps to 15GB per day. Further, the Rs 3750 plan that enabled users to browse up to 4 Mbps speed till 80GB is said to be enhanced to up to 10 Mbps up till 25GB per day.
BSNL highlighted that the users on the Rs 2750 plan and the Rs 3750 plan will have a post FUP speed of 2 Mbps. The operator also noted that the top tier ADSL plans priced at Rs 5000 and Rs 7500 per month has also been enhanced to offer higher speeds and data limits.
The Rs 5000 plan that earlier offered up to 4 Mbps speed till 125GB per month is said to be enhanced to up to 10 Mbps speed till 35GB per day. Further, the Rs 7500 plan that offered up to 4 Mbps speed till 225GB per month is said to be enhanced to be enhanced to up to 10 Mbps speed till 50GB per day. BSNL highlighted that the post FUP speeds on the Rs 5000 and Rs 7500 plan will be 2 Mbps, up from 512 kbps earlier.
While BSNL has retained the existing charges on the landline, the operator has crucially stopped the data overage charges on the new enhanced ADSL broadband plans.
BSNL Enhances Bharat Fiber Plans in Andaman and Nicobar
The state-run operator offers seven Bharat Fiber plans in the region with BSNL highlighting that the plans would all be enhanced with higher speeds and data limits.
The base Rs 799 Bharat Fiber FTTH plan is said to be enhanced from up to 10 Mbps speed till 4GB to up to 10 Mbps speed till 60GB. Further, the Rs 999 plan is said to be enhanced from up to 10 Mbps speed till 8GB to up to 10 Mbps speed till 150GB.
BSNL highlights that the users on the Rs 799 plan and the Rs 999 plan will continue to have an post FUP speed of 512 Kbps.
The Rs 1899 plan that earlier offered up to 10 Mbps speed till 25GB per month is said to be enhanced to up 10 Mbps speed till 10GB per day. BSNL said that the users subscribed to Rs 1799 plan will have a post FUP speed of 1 Mbps, up from 512 Kbps.
The Rs 2799 plan is said to be enhanced from up to 10 Mbps speed till 45GB per month to 30 Mbps speed till 15GB per day. Further, the Rs 3999 plan is said to be enhanced from up to 10 Mbps speed till 80GB to up to 50 Mbps speed till 25GB per day.
BSNL said that the users on the Rs 2799 and the Rs 3799 plan will have a post FUP speed of 2 Mbps as compared to earlier speed of 512 Kbps.
The operator is also enhancing the speed and data limit on its top tier Bharat Fiber FTTH plans priced at Rs 5999 and Rs 7999 per month.
The Rs 5999 plan is said to be enhanced to up to 80 Mbps speed till 40GB per day from 10 Mbps speed till 140GB per month. Further, the operator said that the Rs 7999 plan will now offer 100 Mbps speed till 50GB per day as compared to 10 Mbps speed till 225GB per month. The post FUP speeds of the Rs 5999 and the Rs 7999 plan is said to be 4 Mbps as compared to earlier speed of 512 Kbps.
Similar to its ADSL broadband plans, the enhanced Bharat Fiber plans are valid till November 7, 2020 with BSNL also eliminating the data overages on its revamped Bharat Fiber FTTH plans.