Going the Broadband way!

internet
Internet is no more a luxury but a necessity these days. People like me who work from home and are online 24×7, good and reliable connectivity is a must to ensure our bread and butter. It is here the broadband comes in as a life saver. Mind you this article is for the new bees who are fed up with their dial up connections and are contemplating switch over to Broadband connection

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.

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8 Responses to "Going the Broadband way!"

  1. NITYIN   June 20, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Got my third bill and it was again wrongly billed. Ran around the whole day at the BSNL office correcting the bill. By now everyone in the Broadband section knows me and today they even offered me tea. I have marked my day off, when I receive my bill. I don’t know who many cups of tea are in store for me at the BSNL office

    Reply
  2. NITYIN   June 20, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Got my third bill and it was again wrongly billed. Ran around the whole day at the BSNL office correcting the bill. By now everyone in the Broadband section knows me and today they even offered me tea. I have marked my day off, when I receive my bill. I don’t know who many cups of tea are in store for me at the BSNL office

    Reply
  3. NITYIN   December 31, 2008 at 6:25 am

    A few other things to keep in mind while going for a Wi-Fi modem, set a password for the Wi-Fi. These days all phones come with Wi-Fi enabled service and in case the password is not set, anyone can send a fake email using your IP and network. Also your neigbour may be using your Wi-Fi connection without your knowledge. This happened in Mumbai where during the Mumbai blasts, terrorists had logged on to the internet using this method and sent an email. This may sound a little scary but some level of precaution is required to avoid misuse. The technical helpline number for BSNL in Himachal is 1957 from any BSNL landline number or 0177-2627000 / 2627001.

    Stay away from Reliance Net Connect in Himachal. They have the worst services. I spent money on their services and it does not work at all! Read this post for more details. USB modems do not offer good reliable internet experience. From my experience, I can say that BSNL USB modems are still better than the others. Airtel works well where there is EDGE technology available but in interior areas it works on GSM and is again painfully slow. Haven’t used Tata Indicom so can’t comment on it’s services.

    BSNL have reduced rates for unlimited usage and now charge Rs. 750/ per month which is quite reasonable. And yes.. my billing woes have been rectified. Am getting proper bills for the past 6 months.

    Reply
  4. NITYIN   December 31, 2008 at 11:55 am

    A few other things to keep in mind while going for a Wi-Fi modem, set a password for the Wi-Fi. These days all phones come with Wi-Fi enabled service and in case the password is not set, anyone can send a fake email using your IP and network. Also your neigbour may be using your Wi-Fi connection without your knowledge. This happened in Mumbai where during the Mumbai blasts, terrorists had logged on to the internet using this method and sent an email. This may sound a little scary but some level of precaution is required to avoid misuse. The technical helpline number for BSNL in Himachal is 1957 from any BSNL landline number or 0177-2627000 / 2627001.

    Stay away from Reliance Net Connect in Himachal. They have the worst services. I spent money on their services and it does not work at all! Read this post for more details. USB modems do not offer good reliable internet experience. From my experience, I can say that BSNL USB modems are still better than the others. Airtel works well where there is EDGE technology available but in interior areas it works on GSM and is again painfully slow. Haven’t used Tata Indicom so can’t comment on it’s services.

    BSNL have reduced rates for unlimited usage and now charge Rs. 750/ per month which is quite reasonable. And yes.. my billing woes have been rectified. Am getting proper bills for the past 6 months.

    Reply
  5. Raman   January 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Hello Dude,
    M having one desktop pc, a laptop, an ipodtouch and 3 wifi enabled phones. In dat case is bsnl wifi broadband is right one or not. If not then wat should i do.
    Please reply on my e-mail address I will be very thank full to you.
    My e-mail [removed]
    Please reply.
    Thanxxxxxxxx in advance

    Reply
  6. Raman   January 23, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Hello Dude,
    M having one desktop pc, a laptop, an ipodtouch and 3 wifi enabled phones. In dat case is bsnl wifi broadband is right one or not. If not then wat should i do.
    Please reply on my e-mail address I will be very thank full to you.
    My e-mail [removed]
    Please reply.
    Thanxxxxxxxx in advance

    Reply
  7. choudhary   June 15, 2010 at 10:14 am

    hi….
    bsnl…..mean…………..bhai sabh na lena ………………bilkul sahi hay
    mane bsnl BB canaction leya or staf ne unlimited ke bajaye 250 plan recmand and sujjest keya…..or 1 gb down loding free bataya or surffing free unlimited bataya …ji ke maha nalyak or thag chor hay …….. bad main 15 din ka bill 2500 de deya or mane only 6 male ke tho or orkut per time passkiya ………………..ab head office hamirpur bale 90% bsnl ki or 10 % custumer ke galte man rahe hay or bill ko kam karne se mana kar rahe hay………………….ye log maho chor nalyak ,thig or sarkare lootare hay or in ko is baat ka gamand bhi hay……………………….mare salah hay app logo ko ke kabhi BSNL se kuch mat lena

    Reply
  8. choudhary   June 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    hi….
    bsnl…..mean…………..bhai sabh na lena ………………bilkul sahi hay
    mane bsnl BB canaction leya or staf ne unlimited ke bajaye 250 plan recmand and sujjest keya…..or 1 gb down loding free bataya or surffing free unlimited bataya …ji ke maha nalyak or thag chor hay …….. bad main 15 din ka bill 2500 de deya or mane only 6 male ke tho or orkut per time passkiya ………………..ab head office hamirpur bale 90% bsnl ki or 10 % custumer ke galte man rahe hay or bill ko kam karne se mana kar rahe hay………………….ye log maho chor nalyak ,thig or sarkare lootare hay or in ko is baat ka gamand bhi hay……………………….mare salah hay app logo ko ke kabhi BSNL se kuch mat lena

    Reply

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