State-owned MTNL is providing 728 high-speed Wi-Fi connections to Members of Parliament at monthly charges of Rs 2,200 as of May, the Lok Sabha was informed.
“The Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have informed that as on May 25, 728 and 29 high-speed Wi-Fi Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) connections were provided to Members of Parliament (MPs), respectively,” Minister of Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
Responding to a question asked by Congress MP from Shillong Vincent H. Pala, Prasad also said that the MTNL has informed that FTTH connections with Wi-Fi access points (ranging from three to six numbers) was provided to each MP during 2015-16 at an average cost of Rs 1.7 lakh including annual maintenance charges for four years after three years” warranty period.
“BSNL has informed that average cost to provide each FTTH connection to MPs is Rs 25,000.”
Prasad said that the BSNL and MTNL are collecting Rs 1,500 per month and Rs 2,200 per month (excluding GST) per FTTH connection, respectively.
Earlier this month, Prasad also informed the House that low tariffs due to fierce competition in the telecom sector, high staff cost, debt burden and the absence of 4G services in the data-centric telecom market are the main reasons for losses of MTNL.
“For BSNL and MTNL, stiff competition in the mobile segment, high employee cost and absence of 4G services (except in few places for BSNL) in the data-centric telecom market is eroding their competitive strength.”
In another reply, while listing the steps taken by the government to rectify the situation, he said: “Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and M/s Deloitte were engaged to facilitate the preparation of the revival/restructuring plan of BSNL and MTNL respectively. Pursuant to their recommendations and approval of respective boards, a comprehensive revival plan for BSNL and MTNL is under preparation.”―Outlook India