BSNL Top ISP In FY 2004

Chennai | Updated: Jul 1 2004, 03:43am hrs
The state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), which finished a distant fourth in fiscal 2003, has come all the way to finish fiscal 2004 as numero uno in the Internet service market. The public sector Internet service provider (ISP) has pipped both its public sector cousin Mahanagar Telecom Ltd (MTNL) and private sector companies Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) and Sify to the post to become the largest Internet service provider (ISP) during the year ended March 2004.

In fiscal 2003, VSNL was the largest ISP with a subscriber base of 7,00,558 netizens.

Interestingly, Sify, which led the pack of ISPs in fiscal 2002, has slipped into the third position during the fiscal 2004.

According to the latest number published by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), BSNL has a live subscriber base of 11,28,172 as of March 31, 2004, up from 4,45,992 subscribers in fiscal 2003. VSNL, which was the top ISP in fiscal 2003 with a subscriber base of 7,00,558, was relegated to the fourth position with its total user base shrinking to 6,00,509 in fiscal 2004. Even if one clubs VSNL numbers with Dishnet DSLs subscriber base - which it took over a couple of months back - the tally adds up to 8,65,140 elevating the new entity to the seond position among the ISPs.

MTNL, which was the third largest ISP in fiscal 2003 dislodged Sify to finish the runner up with a total subscriber base of 7,69,434. Sify has subsequently slipped to the third slot in FY 04 with an user base of 6,58,192. It had an user base of 6,17,324 during fiscal 2003.

According to industry insiders, the ISP market has finally came out of its slumbers and grew at a healthy double digit rate during the fiscal. On a quarter-on-quarter basis the market has grown from 41,38,585 users to 45,49,618 users during the period.