Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is planning a massive broadband rollout across 18 cities in Andhra Pradesh with an investment outlay of Rs 20.58 crore (Rs 205.8 million) by the end of December.
Addressing a press conference, Sanjaya Kumar, chief general manager of BSNL, said: "The broadband will provide a minimum of 256 kbps (kilo-bits per second) and a maximum of 8 mbps internet speed and will bring video conferencing, virtual private networks and video-on-demand for common users."
According to him, the present dial-up connections provide a theoretical maximum speed of 56 kbps, whereas broadband would guarantee a minimum connection speed of 256 kbps.
"The best feature of broadband for users will be video-on-demand that will allow users to watch films and other programmes they want to watch. The high Internet speed will also allow programmes to be downloaded into the computer for viewers," he said.
Plans are afoot to introduce 14,251 broadband lines in 18 cities of the state in the first year, which would then be upgraded with another 24,182 connections and eight more cities.
Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam would form the main nodes, with broadband connections also made available in Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Kurnool, Cuddapah, Anantapur, Rajahmundry, Guntur, Ongole, Nellore, Tirupati, Khammam and Bhimavaram.
"The rates for the broadband connection have not yet been finalised but they would surely be less than what other providers offer," Kumar said.
BSNL has also launched a new look plastic India Telephone Card. The new plastic cards have a longer shelf life and are tamper proof and the price is inclusive of service tax.
The new cards have a minimum validity period of three months and a maximum of nine months based on the denominations as against the earlier validity period, which ranged between two and six months. The secret code has also been changed to 16 digits as against 10 digits earlier.
BSNL on Monday also announced the launch of general packet radio service, which allows Internet browsing and e-mail, and multi-media messaging service, which facilitates delivery of total communication experience by allowing personalised multimedia content like images, audio text and video for the benefit of high-end mobile customers of BSNL.He also announced the launch of a new scheme for CellOne, BSNL's national cellular service, with a fixed monthly rental of Rs 140.