Reliance Jio has confirmed that it has received a strong response for its fiber home broadband service. The Mukesh Ambani-owned company said that some 900 cities and towns signed up for the commercial roll out of JioGigaFiber within a fortnight of the start of registrations on Independence Day.
Reliance JioGigaFiber service’s commercial availability is, however, facing resistance from local cable operators, in extending last mile connectivity in key markets. According to Economic Times, which spoke to local cable operators in Maharashtra, Delhi and Karnataka, said the root of the problem does not arise from Jio’s partnership with them but rather the business decision to approach housing societies and resident welfare associations to pitch its service. These local cable operators also fear that they won’t be able to compete with Jio.
Reliance Jio, on the other hand, has maintained that it is working with these local cable operators to extend last mile connectivity and support existing businesses. “We are taking proactive steps to resolve any last-mile connectivity challenges to prioritize and ensure timely roll-outs in markets where consumer registrations have been strong,” a senior company executive told ET. The executive added that the telco has “got enthusiastic consumer response from nearly 900 cities across the country.”
Experts say that success of Reliance Jio’s greenfield fiber-to-the-home service will depend on last mile connectivity. The commercial roll out of Reliance JioGigaFiber depends on physical connection with every building and it is unlike mobile services where procuring towers is easy.
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Reliance Jio remains upbeat on its prospects in the wired broadband service. “People are not only sending in their own requests, but also encouraging their neighbors to do so, and thus adding to the demand, which would help the company prioritize roll-out schedules,” the Jio executive added. Major players in the wired broadband business, Bharti Airtel and BSNL, have already started revising their tariff plans to counter Jio’s cheap tariff plan when the service becomes available.