This price and data allocation of the plans will remain unchanged, it said.
For plans below Rs 675 per month, the download speeds have been increased to 8 Mbps.
In both cases, the higher speeds will be available only till the fair usage limit is hit. Once the fair use limit is hit, the speed will come down to 2 Mbps as before.
The extra speed is supposed to ensure that BSNL broadband subscribers will remain on the wired network instead of moving to the wireless network, which cannot offer 10 Mbps of constant bandwidth.
The new plans are applicable to both DSL and Fiber customers.
Higher speeds will be available only in areas which are relatively close to the telephone exchange.
For example, the ADSL 2+ technology used by BSNL has a speed potential of up to 20 Mbps at a distance of 1.5 km.
However, besides the distance from the exchange, the speed will also depend on the quality of the copper wire.
Given the quality of the wire used by most ISPs in India, industry sources expect that the actual speeds achievable will be around 10 Mbps up to a distance of 2 km from the exchange.
After that, the speed drops off. For example, at a distance of 4 km from the exchange, the maximum speed falls to about 3.5 Mbps.
Despite this, the move by the company to relax speed limits indicates that it is gearing up to withstand competition from Reliance Jio.
It will also benefit users of BSNL Fiber to the Home service, who will not suffer any decline in speeds irrespective of the distance.
JIO FIBER THREAT
The move is seen as a anticipated response to upcoming plans from Reliance Jio’s JioFiber offerings.
The JioFiber service was originally announced more than a year ago, in September last year, by Mukesh Ambani, who promised that it would be rolled out in 100 top Indian cities over time.
However, since the initial announcement, not much has been heard about the product, except for uncorroborated leaks suggesting that the service will offer a speed of 100 Mbps.
In July, the company’s website listed a ‘preview’ offer, which was promptly taken down.
According to the JioFiber preview, users would get free usage of 100 GB per month for a period of three months. The speed would be 100 Mbps.
Though the preview was free, Jio would charge Rs 4,800 as installation fees.
No other details, such as the charges after the initial three months, were mentioned.
The company is also rumored to offer a high-end, IPTV service as well, that would ride on top of the Fiber service.