Finally, the Dataone story at our office came to an end.
It all began when BSNL announced their plans of broadband at low prices. Like everyone else, we too submitted an application and waited. Suddenly, one day a Junior Engineer and two others came and inspected our setup and pronounced that we could use our existing router. Then, the JE installed something off a secret CD (he wouldn’t give us a copy, and wouldn’t let us make a copy) and then departed saying that it would be configured in a couple of days and after that we could start using it.
A week passed and nothing happened. We were given a password that was wrong, and then a password that was correct, but no go – we kept getting errors when we tried to connect. Finally, yestgerday, the JE, a CRO and another employee from BSNL came and tried lots of different things. Finally, they decided that our router was “not compatible” and used one of their modems. After installing it, they were able to connect, though the bandwidth meter they used showed only about 60 kbps (it was supposed to be 256). They assured us that the speed could be as high as 1400 kbps, and that it was slow only because some testing was happening,
Finally, they told us that we had to pay almost Rs. 12000 (Rs. 6000 as refundable deposit, Rs. 3000 as a month’s charges in advance, Rs. 2000 for the modem and Rs. 500 as installation charges, plus 10.2% on Rs. 3500) immediately if we wanted a 512 Kbps connection. Of course, the modem would be delivered the next day, and the speed would be patchy for some time till the testing and calibration were done.
We had anticipated a no-cost or low-cost shift from Airtel Broadband to BSNL Dataone. When hit suddenly with a demand for a large amount of money, what choice did we have but to ask for our Dataone account to be cancelled – we had to write a letter of cancellation!
Today, the Airtel guy is here, cutting our monthly internet bill from 5995 to 2495 – Rs. 505 less than what BSNL would have cost us monthly.
Airtel’s technology is good, but their service sucks. Even as I am typing this, we are engaged in a running battle with them about their many service drawbacks. But that is another story for another day.