will soon launch IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) with BSNL Kolkata or Calcutta Telephones. They are going to come up with this special service by contracting with Multi-System Operators (MSOs). To watch IPTV, customers have to take a set top box from BSNL. They plan to provide this service through the company’s fibre broadband. In addition, other senior executives of the company, including the Chief General Manager of BSNL Kolkata, have taken the initiative to market the service directly to the customer’s doorstep to increase fibre broadband connectivity.
Biswajit Pal, Chief General Manager, BSNL Kolkata, said, “We will launch IPTV soon. The corporate office in Delhi has already said that if the circle is interested, they can launch IPTV. We are very interested in launching this service in our circle. For this, we will enter into agreements with MSOs with the aim of getting them from different channel heads. In addition, all customers who want to watch our IPTV, we have to put a set top box to connect their TV. A few months ago, BSNL Kerala Circle launched IPTV in selected areas of several districts. Incidentally, MSO and broadband company Meghbela has recently announced that they will launch IPTV service in Kolkata next February.
More than a decade ago, in 2009, Calcutta Telephones announced the launch of IPTV in Kolkata. But, the partner with whom they launched IPTV, they could not continue the service due to technical problems. Learning from that experience, the state-owned telecom company plans to go it alone. Their main tool for this is their sophisticated infrastructure in the field of fibre broadband. With that infrastructure, BSNL Kolkata has already tied up with many cable operators, local unemployed youth and DSAs to ensure customer service on a 24X7 basis.
A senior official of the company admitted that there is anger and dissatisfaction among the customers about the quality of service of BSNL. He explained, ‘We have tied the knot with about 100 associates in Kolkata Telecom Circle to remove this anger and dissatisfaction. Of these, more than 50 associates have already started work. They are pulling lines from us in the revenue sharing model and replacing them with optical line terminals (OLTs) to provide new connections, maintenance and repairs. As a result, we expect our customer service to be at the same level as the rest of the private sector.
The number of BSNL fibre broadband subscribers across the country is currently over 2 million. About 50 per cent of its customers have received revenue sharing models with partners in the last one year. However, in the ‘militant’ movement of old contract workers, BSNL Kolkata has only been able to introduce this model for a couple of months. That’s why other officials, including the Chief General Manager, have started marketing fibre broadband directly to customers in order to increase the number of subscribers quickly in a ‘work-from-home’ atmosphere.
In the words of Biswajit Pal, ‘We are going to big houses and talking to the people of the committee there. I am personally going to identify the possible accommodation and ask the partners to set up the OLT. The market demand is huge. We have to capture this market. Don’t be late’.
BSNL Kolkata has set a target of providing 4,000 new fibre broadband this month. And from January to March, they plan to provide a total of 18,000 new connections, officials said. However, BSNL Kolkata expects to provide at least 6,000 connections per month if more than 100 collaborators start work.
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