According to telecom ministry officials, the mass surrender of land connections was because many rural subscribers want to recover the refundable deposit they paid at the time of applying for a connection. The demand for new landlines too has registered a sharp decline this year.
Meanwhile, STD booth-owners are knocking at the telecom ministry’s gates, complaining that with a dip in the rates for long-distance calls, their earnings have come down by over 50 per cent. This because their percentage of commission has remained stagnant while std rates have fallen. Cheaper calls should have led to more long-distance calls being made. But this too has not happened.