State-owned telecom operator BSNL has unveiled a new promotional offer under which it will give unlimited data to landline and DSL customers willing to upgrade to its fiber-to-the-home service Bharat Fiber in Kerala.
The plan, called CS340, entitles the user to unlimited data at 1 Mbps for 1 year on payment of Rs 1,200 (Rs 100 per month). In addition, BSNL will give 1GB of data at a higher speed of 4 Mbps every day.
The plan is not available to existing FTTH users, or those who are not upgrading from copper to fiber. It is also not applicable to mobile or 4G users.
It is, however, available to any regular landline user, even if he or she is not using broadband services right now, as well as DSL broadband customers.
The plan is aimed at incentivizing Kerala broadband customers to upgrade their connections from copper wire to fiber.
It also offers an alternative to 4G connections, most of which offer 1 or 1.5 GB per day at a cost of around Rs 130 per month. However, while 4G operators throttle the speed of the data connection to 64 kbps after the daily quota is over, BSNL FTTH will offer a speed of 1 Mbps even after the daily quota is over.
BSNL is keen for customers to shift to fiber as it is much cheaper to maintain a fiber connection compared to a copper connection.
The operator is offering fiber-to-the-home connections in most towns in Kerala. As of the middle of last year, such services were available in over 200 towns in the state.
However, one of the biggest challenges in securing such services is the slow pace of roll-out.
Often, customers have to wait for several months in case the company has not already laid fiber optic cable in that location. As an alternative, BSNL has also tied up with cable operators in several areas to deliver its FTTH service.
The move to offer unlimited data at just Rs 100 per day is also aimed at preventing BSNL broadband customers from shifting to Reliance Jio Fiber.
Jio Fiber offers unlimited data at 1 Mbps for Rs 699 plus tax. It also offers 150 GB of high speed data at 100 Mbps as part of the same plan.
However, like BSNL FTTH, Jio Fiber too is not available in most places in Kerala, and customers have been waiting for nearly two years after registering for a connection.
BSNL Bharat Fiber customers who want to upgrade to higher plans can also opt for various schemes, such as the 500 GB plan under which they get 500 GB per month of high-speed (50 Mbps) data at a monthly charge of Rs 500 plus tax.