BSNL promises Broadband 2007 for India

Indian incumbent phone company, BSNL is betting that 2007 is going to be a big year for broadband and is spending to make it real. The company is planning to boost speeds of their DSL offering to 2 megabits per second from 256 kbps. They will sell this service for about 250 rupees or about $7 a month. BSNL hopes that this bargain basement price would allow the company to add over 800,000 new connections in 2007.

India had 1.92 million high-speed connections at the end of October 2006, up from 690,000 in October 2005. BSNL, for some ludicrous reason insists on charging people for downloads, which I think defeats the purpose of signing up for an always-on connection.

These restrictive plans will slowdown the growth of consumer Internet services in the country, as people would tend to ration the amount they spend using broadband connections. BSNL has plans for an online gaming service.