India’s broadband connection base at the end of June 2012 was at 14.50 million, according to the data from Indian Telecom regulator TRAI. In response to a written question in the Parliament, Milind Deora, the Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology, informed that BSNL had 92,40,066 Broadband subscribers, while MTNL had 10,62,750 broadband connections at the end of June 2012.
– MTNL Connections
MTNL has 4.89 lakh broadband connections in Delhi and 5.73 lakh broadband connections in Mumbai. It has 570 dial-up connections in Delhi and 2078 dial-up connections in Mumbai.
According to the data from September 2011, there were 10.1 lakh Broadband connections in Delhi and as per the government data, Broadband connections from MTNL were at 4.89 lakh at the end of June 2012. Even if there’s a minor increase in the number of subscribers in the city, the share of private ISPs is more compared to other service areas.
– BSNL Connections
– Karnataka has the highest number of Broadband connections at 10.36 lakh, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 9.56 lakh and Maharashtra at 8.84 lakh connections.
– Andaman & Nicobar has 6,264 BSNL broadband connections, the lowest in the country.
– Kerala has 3.81 lakh BSNL Dial-up connections, the highest in the country.
If we take a look at Gujarat, the data from September 2011 indicates that the number of broadband subscribers were at 7.81 lakh, while by the end of June 30, 2012 , BSNL subscribers in Gujarat were at 6.05 lakh. Considering that there’s been an increase in total broadband subscribers by 10 percent since last year, total broadband subscribers in Gujarat would still stand at 8.59 lakh, which indicates that private ISPs have not been able to penetrate the market in non-metro circles.
Why not unbundle the last mile?
As we’ve seen from the above data, public ISPs (MTNL and BSNL) dominate the market share primarily due to the legacy wireline connectivity they own. Wireless may not be able to handle the load, and there has to be a push for growing the wireline base in India. We’ve said it time and again, it’s time to unbundle the last mile, so that private players can also reach out to every nook and corner, and contribute in increasing the internet penetration in the country.
Anupam Saxena also contributed to this post