Poor connectivity makes WFH impossible: Goa IT Industry
The pandemic induced lockdown has laid bare Goa’s creaky internet connectivity and frequent power outages that puncture holes into the state government’s claims that it has the potential to be top a start-up destination
The Goa IT Professionals (GITP), a loose group of people in the It and ITes sectors GITP has written to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to “find solutions to the connectivity and power woes of the IT industry in the state on a war footing.”
This comes nearly two weeks after Chief Minister Pramod Sawant categorically assured members of the IT and (related) industry sectors and others that their problems would be resolved at the earliest in order to ensure that network and internet connectivity improves in the state.
“Goan IT Industries efforts to come up from the slump by using the tried and tested ‘work from home’ and ‘IT anywhere’ concepts are badly hampered due to poor internet connectivity and power outages. This is creating severe problems in terms of meeting project deadlines whereby affecting the functioning of most IT businesses in the state,” the GITP has said.
While Goa isn’t home to large IT companies with sprawling campuses, several small and medium IT companies and freelancers and consultants have made Goa their home over the last several years. Yet these industries have just two complaints -- poor internet connectivity and irregular power supply.
Poor connectivity isn't a complaint of only the IT professionals, a government constituted committee to suggest economic revival for the state flagged the poor connectivity as a key point of concern. On June 3, the Chief Minister convened a special meeting to discuss the issue and promised that efforts would be made to ensure that it wouldn't be a problem.
Goa has a significant number of private ISP providers, but their primary focus are the urban areas with high population density where they can offer connections in close proximity without investing much in additional infrastructure like cable laying, besides also asking customers to pay upfront installation charges which can vary anywhere between ₹10,000 to ₹40,000.
State-run BSNL is the only broadband provider which already has the infrastructure in place even in rural Goa but services are poor and the minimum time they take to repair a fault is 15 days, during which time users are left in the lurch.
Mobile connectivity too is poor in Goa both in rural and urban areas.
“If the government can help in putting this basic infrastructure in place, the IT Industry can make the best of it and can also contribute substantially by providing much needed impetus to the economic revival of the state,” the IT professionals have said.
“With little hand holding and planning on part of the govt this green industry has the potential to generate substantial amounts of employment and can help the state make best use of the Human Resource that is returning homewards from across the globe due to the pandemic triggered repatriation,” they added.
(Written by Gerard de Souza)