Broadband lets you access the Internet with lightening speed. How? don’t ask me! I am not a techie. Broadband (BB) service in Himachal are now available in all major cities and even in few fortunate villages. BB service in Himachal is provided by the state run BSNL. To get a BB connection you require a telephone land line first. Once that accomplished, in this era of mobile phones, you can install a BB at your home or office. To apply for a BB connection in Shimla one needs to go to the BSNL office at the Mall popularly known as Targhar.
BSNL offers a plethora of schemes. The best part of BB is the telephone line is not blocked and nor you get charged for the telephone usage as is in the case of Dial up connection. So you can talk on the telephone while connected to BB. You can check the various plans offered by BSNL
You also require to pay for a modem while installing the connection. You have an option to go for a Wi-Fi modem or an attached modem. Wi-Fi modem is wireless and in case you use a laptop, Wi-Fi modem is the best as you can work anywhere at home without bothering to connect wires to the modem. You have an option of either renting or purchasing the modem. A Wi-Fi modem costs 1800 plus 4% VAT and the other one costs 1400 plus VAT. In case of renting option you pay 90/ per month for the Wi-Fi modem and 60/ per month for the other modem. The catch here is that you pay the full amount as security which is refundable and then pay monthly charges.
In a nut shell, it is better to buy the modem and if you have a laptop with radio or bluetooth, buy a Wi-Fi modem.
One has to be very particular about the usage and billing of BB. Plan 125 and 250 are good only if you have limited usage and you stick to it. In case you exceed the usage, which happens normally, the billing can be enormous. Mind you we Indians pay the highest BB charges anywhere in the world. Even if you stick to the usage, a plan 250/- will cost you 400/- per month after incurring the rental charges for a Wi-Fi modem and all taxes included. Add to this the normal telephone call charges, your telephone bill is definitely going to shoot up. Be ready for a hefty first bill where they put in all the hidden costs. I paid approximately 4000/- in my first bill for the rented mod em option. I am again mentioning to go for a purchased modem as it saves a lot of headache later.
There are other technical issues involved. At times the DSL link goes missing and the BB stops functioning. This happens more often after every rainfall in my case. You need to lodge a complaint at 198 and it takes normally one day to rectify the fault. In my case I can’t sit idle for a full day. I have an “arrangement” with my local lineman and the fault is rectified within an hour. Depending upon your dependence on BB you will have to invent solutions. 🙂 Also you need to have patience like a Buddha as you need to deal with BSNL officials in due course of time.
Thank you for reading all through. I have placed my past 6 months experience of using the broadband. Hopefully, it will be helpful to other new potential users.
Updated on August 26, 2012
Out of the all the USB modems I have tried, Reliance, Tata Indicom and BSNL Evdo, I can vouch for Tata Indicom as I have been using this all across the state, in the interiors too and the speed has been pretty decent. Tata Indicom now offers an unlimited plan for 1035 for 5 GB fair usage cap which is good for heavy users.
BSNL EVDO is also good and have an unlimited plan but right now does not work every where in the state. Check there is a BTS tower installed near your place and not the normal BSNL (GSM) one. EVDO works on CDMA technology. I used it in Shimla and Manali towns and the speed was quite good but only when the tower was well in range. Else it becomes quite frustrating. EVDO has an unlimited plan for Rs. 750.
I use EVDO with unlimited usage in Shimla where I get full signal at my work place. The service has been great for the past six months. Else I have a Tata Photon during my travels. I no more use BSNL landline in Shimla. The above article was written back in 2008.
For rural areas, BSNL landline broadband offers an unlimited plan for Rs. 500 per month and if you pay for an year in advance then you need to pay 5000. This plan is pretty good for rural areas as USB modems have limited connectivity in rural areas.