Cheaper broadband closes gap with dial up

New Delhi, Nov 29 | Updated: Nov 30 2006, 07:48am hrs
Dial up connections are still the most popular way to connect to the Internet though broadband is on the rise.

According to a study paper on Internet and broadband by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the percentage of subscribers using dial-up connection for Internet access decreased from 84% in March 2005 to 66% by March 2006 and stood at 60% at the end of June 06.

As of June 2006, there were 7.71 million Internet (including broadband) subscribers. About 20% of the total Internet subscribers are broadband subscribers, but this segment is growing at a faster rate.

The annual growth rate of Internet subscribers for the last three years was about 25%. The growth rate for the quarter ending June 06 has been 11%, translating into an annual rate of about 44%.

Broadband connections are behind target in the country. As against the target of 3 million broadband connections till 2005 end, only 0.18 million were achieved.

At end-October, the total number of broadband connections stood at 1.92 million. The target till 2007-end is nine million.

The Trai study has noted that 86% of the total Internet subscriber base (including broadband) is with five leading Internet service providers (ISPs). As of June 2006, 62% of the total Internet subscribers are with public sector undertakings as against 56% in March 2006.

The pan-India presence of PSUs and their dominant status in fixed service puts them in an advantageous position to offer combo plans, where user of voice services can avail Internet services also.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has the largest marketshare at 43.07%, followed by Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd with a marketshare of 19.26%. Sify Ltd has a marketshare of 11.83%, VSNL 6.12% and Bharti 5.73%.