12 May 2012

Constraints before Telecom, Post and Telegraph Services

Telephone and telegraph services are generally functioning satisfactorily in the country .However, complaints relating to deficiency in Telecom, Postal & Telegraph services are received intermittently from different parts of the country including hilly, tribal and rural areas. 

The services face the following constraints:- 

i) Damage of cables by various utility services during road widening. 

ii) Poor commercial power supply particularly in hilly, tribal and rural areas;. 

iii) Restricted movement of maintenance personnel during heavy snowfall, land slide, lightening , flash floods , etc. 

The Department of Posts (DoP) has well laid operational procedures to ensure smooth rendering of services offered by it. However, having regard to the vastness of territory covered by its operations, dependence on external agencies for transmission of mails and the magnitude of workforce engaged in rendering various services, some human and operational failures take place on certain occasions giving rise to complaints. 

Following steps are taken by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Department of Posts towards improvement in their services in the hilly, tribal and rural areas: 

Telecom/Telegraph Services

i) Augmentation of mobile network progressively to enhance coverage and capacities. 

ii) Rehabilitation / upgradation of external plant. 

iii) Close monitoring of network operation through IT enabled systems and introduction of effective Network Management System. 

iv) Better management of spare cards and keeping adequate stock of spare cables for emergency purposes to restore services as early as possible. 

v) Close co-ordination with concerned authorities to avoid damages to the underground cables due to development work undertaken by other agencies and regular patrolling of major cable routes. 

vi) Co-ordination with Police authorities to minimize the cases of theft. 

vii) Provisioning of telephone services through Digital satellite Phone Terminals (DSPT) and Wireless in local loop (WLL) in places where land line services are not feasible. 

Apart from above, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) monitors the performance of the service providers against the benchmarks fixed for the various parameters laid in Quality of Services Regulations. In respect of Basic services (Wireline), the performance related to “fault repairs in rural and hilly areas” is also monitored. TRAI also undertakes objective assessment of the Quality of Services of Basic, Cellular and Broadband services through independent agencies. The customer satisfaction survey is also conducted quarterly through these agencies. During the process, the rural exchanges of Basic service (Wireline) are also audited on sample basis and customer satisfaction survey includes customers in rural areas. TRAI follows up with the service providers for addressing the deficiencies in their quality of services. 

Department of Posts has relaxed the norms for opening of Post Offices in hilly and tribal areas in comparison to other areas. This is helping in improving Postal services in hilly & tribal areas. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology Sh Milind Deora in Rajya Sabha today. 

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