Last month, I had a meeting with various telecom service providers of New Town to get a feedback on the issues faced by them. In New Town, there are roadside spaces reserved for laying optical fibre cables. The duct casing is laid down by NTTIDCO (New Town Telecom Infrastructure Development Corporation), a joint venture between Hidco and Webfil). The cable TV, Internet providers and others who use optical fibre or other cables have to use these cable ducts. There is, thus, no loose hanging cables tied to light poles - a familiar sight in Kolkata.
In the meeting, I said that I'd received complaints that there is no BSNL landline in parts of New Town in Action Area II: they wanted BSNL landline connections for broadband connection. CGM BSNL commented that since population wasn't large enough, capital costs were proving prohibitive because revenue streams would not justify investments. Other cable operators said that they were facing competition from satellite TVs and requested some tariff concessions.
I learnt that along Major Arterial Road (MAR), the upfront fee payable was Rs 5 lakh per km. For other roads (& certain categories) the fee was Rs. 4 lakh per km.
I requested NTTIDCO to consider a revision onwards for some time.
Recently, NTTIDCO has informed me that for three years, there would be a 25% reduction in upfront fees. Thus instead of Rs 5 Lakh, now Rs 3.75 lakh is payable as upfront fee along MAR. For others, it would be reduced from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 3 lakh per km.
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Here is a clipping from today's Bartaman: