Broadband in India

After living in US for a while, returning back to your home is something that can only be experienced rather than talked about. But things do change after living away. Before moving to US I was ok with a mediocre Internet connection which had a speed of, I don’t know may be 10 Kbps. But after using Comcast High speed internet with  6Mbps lightning speed, Yeh Dil Mange More!! So I planned to switch to broadband connection here in Pune. Pardon me for my language because I am pretty frustrated how things work here.

Options available – TATA Indicom, Reliance, BSNL. (There is Airtel too but I thought they were a little expensive so I never called them, and others like Hathway and Sify, they are just there to suck blood).

They share one verb in common. They all suck, right from getting the connection to using it. I intend to use internet as much as possible so I needed an unlimited data plan. Now if anyone is new to this broadband connection mania in India, let me tell  you what are the typical steps the service provider would follow before you get your damn connection.

  • First call the service center in your city and ask for a connection.
  • The person would ask your address details etc and put a request to check for fucking feasibility of providing the service at your address.
  • For the next 2-3 days there would be some damn feasibility check to verify the service can be given. I was called by Tata  times to verify where exactly my building was, I mean exactly where respective to a landmark may be.
  • If that goes well, you need to select a plan. Overall I have seen that for home usage, 256 Kbps seems to be the most widely used speed here. Unlimited plan with 256 Kbps speed costs from about 750 – 1000 Rs/month.
  • Once the plan is conveyed in the next 2-3 days you might have your connection if everything goes well.

Now honestly speaking for someone who has spent quite some time abroad may be the price of broadband would seem cheap, but for residents here, unlimited plans seems pretty expensive compared to what we paid in US. Well I have to agree that internet is like having a TV in US, but in India, in a good locality, I think there would be 3/10 ratio of internet wired homes.

Here is a table which shows the bird’s eye comparison between these fuckin ISP’s.

 

  TATA Reliance BSNL
Price 1000 799 + 50(phone needed) 750(phone needed)
Customer Service Best Ok (Until now) Sucks rat’s ass
Speed (Kbps) 256 300 256
Time to get the service in days 2-4 1 week > 1 month

Please do not draw conclusions just by looking at the figures.

BSNL is a government service, and for those who do not know, in general, a government service in India is dreaded by everyone unless you have someone high up the ladder to pull some strings in their office. For BSNL, you need to apply for a landline phone, it took me almost a month to get that. Once that is in place and working, we need to apply for broadband which might take another month who knows.

I have chosed Reliance for now, its been almost a week and I do not have a connection yet. There is wiring being done in my house today and hopefully Ill be surfing 2 days from now. I always smell something fishy with Reliance since their service is much cheaper than TATA and the speed they promise to give is 300 Kbps. Lets see how that goes in the coming days. Please let me know if you need more information about any of the above mentioned services since I spent some time researching on them.

Finally a special note for those planning to come back after a long time or those who are coming for the first time and need a broadband connection.

Getting a connection is the easier part of the equation, but getting good service once you have the connection is really important. I would recommend TATA Indicom for all of you since they really take customer service seriously, atleast that was my experience with TATA sky which is their cable TV service. Although their service is a little on the higher price side but I am sure you won’t mind that :).

Happy Programming!

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