Imlisanen Jamir

Dependence on a sole state broadband service provider has left a large chunk of Dimapur district disconnected ever since the four lane road development works began on the National Highway since last autumn.

If you’re staying anywhere in the outskirts of the few towns in Nagaland state, the only option to experience broadband internet connectivity is through the state run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

Despite being infamous for terrible connectivity and aging infrastructure, most government establishments and people located away from the town centres rely on it as their sole option. The few private enterprises that do offer ADSL internet connectivity have been terribly slow to get off to a good start and expand anywhere far enough from urban centres.

It has been over four months now since landline and broadband receivers past the Purana Bazar area have echoed a dead tone. Calls made by consumers have been met with unsatisfactory explanations that the current roadworks have affected services, while no assurances have been made as to when normal services would resume.

The last public statement made by the service provider in November of last year said that they were working to quickly restore services, and cited poor communication and coordination between BSNL and agencies that implement developmental works. The service provider had also accused that underground cables were being haphazardly torn up without informing the service provider.

The same report which carried this statement informed that there are about 13500 landline consumers and around 6000 broad band users in Nagaland, out of which around 8000 consumers were in Dimapur alone.

To top it all off, three Optical Fibre Cables (OFCs) running from OCB exchange Dimapur to Kohima, serve as the lifeline for BSNL services in the state and if these are affected, Kohima, Dimapur and Imphal would get isolated.

More than four months since the phone lines went dead; they are yet to be revived. As the excavators chug on with their construction works, the electricity in the surrounding areas have also become more erratic with the eminent arrival of the windy season.

And as the electricity goes off, so does the cell tower networks, thus limiting the use of the last internet option for people and offices here.

As much as service providers have spent on their advertisement campaigns, the realities of places like Nagaland have tried them, and they have been found wanting.

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