Mumbai, Apr 5 (PTI) Broadcasting and cable TV service provider Den Networks today said it will expand its broadband internet services to 100 cities this year, leveraging its existing cable infrastructure across the country.

It plans to roll out in over 500 cities, across 11 million homes in the next 2-3 years.

“After an encouraging response to the pilot project in five cities, Den has already started its first phase of expansion in 15 cities. After the completion of this phase, Den broadband will enable 1.1 crore households with high-speed broadband services by 2020,” it said in a statement.

Den’s fiber cable infrastructure is already present across 13 states with a reach of over 13 million subscribers’ homes.

It plans to roll out through a franchisee model, which will leverage its strength as a leading national multi-system operator with an established on-ground cable last mile operator network (LMO) to usher in a broadband revolution in the entire country.

Its over 14,000 LMO network would use its technology while adhering to the operational standards set by the company. Den will bill the subscribers directly and collect tariffs from them directly. The franchisee would get paid based on their agreement and size of their investment.

Den estimates a capex of around Rs 100 crore over the next three years.

This expansion plan is targeted towards 100 cities across states where Den has a strong foothold such as Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, thereby strengthening its existing customer base further.

“This is a game changing moment not just for Den but also for the internet users in the country. Our hard work and investment in transforming our co-ax cable trunk routes into fiber optics will now yield tangible results. For Den it will mean a minimum investment whereas for our users it will mean best in class internet speed,” Den Networks chief executive officer S N Sharma said.

The company said currently, about 6 per cent households have a fixed broadband connection in a market of 284 million households, while most leading developed nations have a market penetration of above 70 per cent.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.