RJio ready to work with local cable operators for widening GigaFiber reach

Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom company controlled by Mukesh Ambani, has reportedly received a strong response from users to its Jio GigaFiber home broadband service, according to a news report in the Economic Times. The fibre-to-the-home broadband service was announced at Reliance Industries’ 41st Annual General Meeting, and registrations started from August 15. 

Though Jio did not specify actual numbers, it said the company had received a strong response from over 900 cities and towns for Jio GigaFibre, according to the report. However, the company is also reportedly facing some resistance from local cable operators in extending its connectivity in key markets for last-mile connectivity. Citing local cable operators in Delhi, Mumbai and Karnataka, the report added that the resistance from cable operators was on account of Jio not involving them, and instead approaching prospective consumers directly to pitch its broadband services. The local operators fear that Jio might announce ultra-affordable tariffs for broadband connections, similar to how they did in the telecom space. This would hurt their business and they might not be able to compete.

Responding on local cable operators’ issues, a Jio official told ET that they were working proactively to resolve any last-mile connectivity challenges to ensure timely roll-outs in markets. Another Jio official was quoted as saying that they were willing to take all stakeholders along, and build on the strong response the company’s home broadband service had received after registrations.

Reliance Jio GigaFiber is a fixed-line broadband service, which would be launched in 1,100 cities simultaneously for homes, merchants and small and medium enterprises and large enterprises. According to the company, the Jio GigaFiber would offer internet speeds of up to one gigabyte per second (Gbps). The company did not announce the launch date or plans, but interested users could register their interest for Jio GigaFiber services on Jio web portal. The location that shows the biggest interest would be among the first to get Jio’s home broadband services.

Unlike most other broadband services, the Jio GigaFiber would not only be limited to internet connection. The fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) internet service would act as an underlying technology that would allow the company to foray into home automation, home surveillance, landline and cable television services. However, in the beginning, the broadband connection would be limited to internet services and Jio GigaTV service, which was also announced during the RIL AGM 2018.