Hathway Cuts Cable Internet Fees By 35 PC

Mumbai: | Updated: Apr 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Hathway Cable & Datacom has introduced an entry price of Rs 650 a month for its Internet subscribers in a drive to lure away customers using dial-up access to its cable Internet service. This will be lower than its existing flat fee of Rs 1,000 a month per subscriber.

The cable modem price has been brought down from Rs 9,000 to Rs 7,800. The yearly subscription price will be Rs 6,500, compared to Rs 9,000 for the customers who are on the Rs 1,000 a month scheme.

The lower level pricing is to ensure a faster growth of subscribers, who may find it suitable to migrate from their dial-up ISP to our service, said Hathway Cable & Datacom chief technology officer Praveen Shrikhande. Hathway is targeting Net users in the dial-up system whose monthly average consumption of around 20 hours. For those who have a lower monthly usage of access, our new offering is at the right price, he said.

The lower price, he said, was because the cost of bandwidth had dropped by almost 20 per cent.

Incidentally, private Internet service providers recently hiked the prices of dial-up Internet access, after holding steady for eight months. Satyam Infoway increased the prices of its unlimited access packages by over 60 per cent, effective from April 1.

The download limit will be 300 mb, unlike the offering of Rs 1,000 a month where the cap is 500 mb which is more than enough for a normal user. The speed, however, will remain at 64 kbps. Free e-mail service of 5 mb will also be provided to a subscriber.

The new service will be for normal Internet users. It may not be congenial for those who are heavily into downloading of music and games, he said.

Hathway does not plan to expand the cable Internet service to new areas. Hyderabad will be the only new territory of expansion in the near future. Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Bangalore are the other cities where the service is available. In Mumbai, our area of operations is in the southern part of the metro, from Colaba to Mahim. We are also in Chembur, a eastern suburb in Mumbai, said Mr Shrikhande. Hathway has deployed 6,000 modems, with a user base of 30,000 across the country.

Cable Internet is still not a mass market. We are in competition with dial-up ISPs rather than with cable networks. The companys focus and challenge is to make cable TV business run smooth. Once that happens, we can speed up our fibre connectivity, he said.