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|February 16, 1998||
VSNL introduces email-only linesThe Madras wing of the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited has allocated separate telephone lines for enabling Internet users to access email.
The new service is proving extremely popular with the bandwidth-challenged subscribers of the city, corporation authorities have claimed.
VSNL officials explain that based on the initial demand, the company had decided to increase the number of lines for the service from 20 to 32.
With around 6,000 TCP/IP users (including those in Pondicherry and Coimbatore) trying to access about 350 dial-up lines allocated for Internet access through the Madras node, congestion of the lines is a frequent complaint among users.
One of the main reasons for the congestion is the fact that subscribers who browse the Web usually hold up the lines for long, frequently for hours on end.
Before the introduction of the email-only lines, users wishing to access just their email, an activity that usually takes a few minutes, did not have any means to jump the queue.
Now, the special number, 5331144, cannot be used to access other popular Internet features.
Using a router that ensures that users dialling into the VSNL system through the hunting number can access only their email has enabled the new service.
This has been achieved by activating only specific ports in the TCP stack of the router that are relevant to email, a VSNL engineer explained.
VSNL officials claim the new facility has become very popular among corporate executives who use their Internet accounts primarily for email. "Email, which is replacing even fax as the preferred mode of communication, has become a vital tool. This new service will enable users to check their mailboxes frequently without having to dial repeatedly,'' a VSNL official said.
Users wishing to send outward mail can also compose the messages "offline'' (that is, while not logged on) by using standard email packages.
For VSNL, the new service is expected to provide a breather for augmenting the number of access lines.
VSNL Madras has already ordered for 600 lines from the Department of Telecommunications' local office, exclusively for its Internet operations.
The company has also begun work to set up an exchange on its own premises, which would be linked to DoT's main exchange through high-capacity optic fibre cables.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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