The telecommunications arm of the Indian Railways, RailTel has expanded its high speed internet connection project to Tamil Nadu’s rural and remote areas, with currently having 2,500 subscribers in 16 of the 32 districts in the state and about 3,000 new connections added every month.
It is also trying to sign a memorandum of understanding with Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable Corporation for accessing remote areas.
In the state RailTel is in a revenue sharing partnership which will allow multi-system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators (LCOs) to draw from its optic fibre cable (OFC) points of presence (PoP) which have been established along with the railway lines across the state to provide internet connectivity to the rural households.
RailWire currently delivers Internet speeds ranging from 256 kbps to 10 mbps.
It has built a nationwide optical fibre cable (OFC) based broadband and multimedia network and has constructed about 42,000 km of OFC network in the country. In the coming time it will be expanding the service to southern states including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, where it has over 10,000 km of OFC.
In Tamil Nadu alone, RailTel has 2,500 km of OFC and about 400 PoPs. It has even entered in agreements with about 20 MSOs and 133 LCOs. The LCOs will bear the cost of laying the last-mile cables connecting RailTel’s PoPs with households with cable TV, as well as the maintenance cost. LCOs will also provide the modem switch that separates TV signals from Internet data that is streamed to a personal computer.
Railwire project was announced by RailTel earlier this year. It provides an open source content delivery platform for providing various services including Broadband Internet, IP telephony, e-HealthCare, e-Education, and other content driven services (like gaming, video on demand services etc.) to Home & SMB segment using the cable operator’s infrastructure.
For future it also has plans to roll out value-added services such as eTicketing via IRCTC to e-governance initiatives.
The charges will vary from INR 299 for 256 kbps to INR 1,099 per month for a 10-mbps connection that offers 40 GB data usage.
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