Local cable operator

A fragmented landscape of 150,000 micro-entreprenuers


There are over 150,000 Local Cable Operators (LCO's) that serve households with internet services in India, holding less than 10% of the market share of internet connections in India. Originating in the late 1990s, LCO's arose in response to the unmet demands for localized cable services, mostly in rural and semi-urban areas. Embedded within local communities, LCO's became instrumental in addressing connectivity gaps across diverse Indian regions.

The Rise of LCOs in India

LCO's grew organically addressing the need for localized and customized cable services. They grew along with the boom of the telecommunications industry while major teLCO's focused on Tier 1 cities and urban areas, leaving rural and semi-urban regions underserved.

Challenges Faced by LCOs

LCOs encounter many hurdles in competing with large telcos due who offer upfront incentives like free installations or initial months of free service amongst other offerings. This acts as a barrier to attract new subscribers at scale. Additionally, the capital-intensive nature of their business model poses a challenge, each new connection incurs substantial upfront costs, straining their limited resources. Embracing the aggregation theory—pooling resources together—will enable LCO's to grow sustainably and compete more effectively.

Enabling LCOs through the Dabba network

LCOs typically manage an average of around 300 subscribers each but are capable of accommodating thousands more. By providing technical hardware, software, operational support, and crucial training, Dabba aims to empower LCOs, enabling them to grow beyond their current limitations. Dabba's comprehensive support system enables these operators with the necessary tools and infrastructure to compete effectively against large telcos. By harnessing this untapped potential, these operators could collectively connect millions more, significantly enhancing internet accessibility across India.

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Case Study: Empowering an LCO

Consider the background of one of our pilot LCO's—an influential figure deeply integrated within his community. He efficiently manages internet connectivity for approximately 2000 households over an 11-square-kilometer area, supported by a dedicated team of 5-6 individuals. His service model encompasses flexible pricing, ranging from $4 to $11 per month, tailored to individual customer needs. Offering dependable 50-100 Mbps speeds and unlimited data, his services cater perfectly to .

Customer satisfaction is a core tenet to him, personally attending to customer calls even during his visit to our office for a training seminar. However, each new installation incurs significant costs starting from labour required to lay fiber to the customers location, including a wifi router, and internal wiring. These costs are a substantial upfront barrier to his expansion efforts.

He’s ambitious and can deploy an additional 4000 connections in the next 2 years, with his eyes already set on neighboring towns. He just needs to the tools to scale.

WiFi Dabba removed enough cost barriers to allow him to grow by [xx] connections during our initial beta testing.

This is just one story of over 150,000 LCOs across India that the Dabba network can empower.


Dabba's intervention marks a turning point for LCO's, elevating their status from survival to thriving in India's digital landscape. This enables LCO's to efficiently utilize and access resources, turning each new connection into an immediate source of income rather than a financial burden. This not only uplifts the 150,000 LCOs but enables connectivity for the next billion users in India.

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