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Wednesday, Dec 24, 2003

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TRAI nod for BSNL tariff scheme to promote Net usage

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Dec. 23

THE Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has approved BSNL's tariff proposal for providing a second telephone connection at a concessional rate for promoting the use of Internet through fixed line.

The features of this plan include zero installation charges and zero security deposit for the second connection to existing BSNL's fixed line subscribers. This scheme is available initially for a period of one year.

A TRAI statement said that it has "decided that it would not intervene in such plans meant for promoting Internet usage in the country, although such offers contain an element of discrimination to the extent that the offer is open only to existing BSNL subscribers".

The authority added that the benefits arising out of such tariff plans in promoting Internet penetration outweigh the concerns arising out of discrimination and, therefore, decided that this should be supported.

The TRAI has also decided to support such bundling of tariffs involving concessional tariff for Internet usage by any service provider.

This decision stems from the fact that Internet penetration in the country is very low (0.4 per hundred persons) compared to many developing countries such as Malaysia (11) and South Korea (58).

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