Bangalore, the so-called Silicon Valley of India is all set to go offline starting today. That is, if you aren’t able to connect to Internet, do not fret.
BBMP (Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike) is starting a new drive to disconnect unauthorized OFC (optical fibre cables) in the city and the bad news is that of 25,000-km-long optical fibre cables in the city, only 5,000 Km is authorized!
“The matter had reached the court after the telecom companies challenged a BBMP decision to levy a monthly fee of Rs 120 per metre of OFC as the telecom companies had used roads, a civic body property, for laying them. BBMP also took steps to disconnect the OFC lines where road cutting charges had not been paid. The telecom companies had allegedly made use of sewage pipelines and overhead electric power wires to lay OFC and avoid paying the road cutting charge.
BBMP is now firm on disconnecting the illegal OFC lines. “We don’t intend to disrupt the OFC network. But they must submit us the details on their entire network in the city. So far, most companies have filed false affidavits. We are authorized to remove the illegal cables. Let them come forward to pay the monthly rent,” said deputy mayor S Harish.”[source: 1, 2]
As part of this drive, BBMP expects minimum of Rs 600 crore revenue from monthly fee.
While operators/ISPs are to be blamed for this situation, isn’t it high time we classify broadband/Internet connectivity as an essential service? Especially when government is stressing on Cloud Computing for SMEs etc?
What’s your opinion?[Image credit]