Internet Access To Increase Shortly
Milind Palnitkar, India Abroad May 12, 1995

BOMBAY - India is set to enter the information superhighway with the state-owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL) offering access to Internet within three months.

V. Babuji, VSNL's director for development, said the corporation had already placed orders for the needed equipment and proprosed initially to set up a node in Bombay. Connection to Internet will be offered to students, commercial and non-commercial users, software-exporters and Internet service providers in the form of dial-up connections. Though official fees have not yet been decided, they are expected to be in the range of Rs. 500 (about $18) a year for students to Rs. 1500 ($500) for commercial users, Babuji told India Abroad.

"The situation in India is rather volatile at the moment as far as Internet is concerned," said Suchit Nanda of the city-based Live Wire! Bulletin Board. "The country's telecommunication network is weak and the problem is the low penetration of telephones. Also, there is no clear-cut guidelines on what is legal and what is illegal in the use of such networks."

Internet access has been available in India since 1989, but full access was available only to eight nodes in the country - all of which were given to state run educational institutes such as the India Institutes of Technology. Individuals could not get access to Internet. The National Informatics Center offers Internet Connectivity in 15 cities through its own high-speed satellite links, but local software professionals say the charges are too high.

Last update: Jan 1998