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Airtel Broadband: A Money Fleecing Scheme
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#1
In first quarter of the year 2013 India’s average internet speed was 1.3 mbps; far below the speed of developed countries and to some extent even some of the developing countries. To prove my point anyone can read a few news articles on the internet, and compare India’s average internet speed with that of other countries, and on that list India would appear at the bottom.

In most developed countries the minimum broadband speed set for ISP’s (Internet service providers) to sell broadband internet plans are at minimum 1-2mbps. In January, 2011, TRAI(Telecom regulatory Authority of India) had raised the minimum broadband speed requirement to 512kbps, but malpractices still continue, I shall share an example here latter.

Internet holds a great potential and can mean business to many. Many people make their living out of internet, and internet means money. But corporates like Airtel (one of India’s leading telecom provider), and its competitors try to fleece as much money as they can from users. I have to say it’s not just Airtel Broadband (mention Airtel here on), but other ISP’s too. I will take Airtel’s example, as I am its customer and a disappointed and helpless one.

People use internet for different purposes, some are termed as heavy users, others as light users. Heavy users are those who use up most of the internet bandwidth. Problem for ISP’s are these heavy users, who clutter their networks. The only way out is by providing them with limited bandwidth since no one else is able to use up the bandwidth meant for all. But this is not the correct way as adopted by companies like Airtel -adding more user to the network rather than upgrading their broadband infrastructure for being able to handle higher bandwidth.

So how does Airtel limit the bandwidth? By adding Fair usage policy (FUP) clause, or as most people call it F**k user policy. Worst so ISP’s sell unlimited internet plans with FUP, in technical terms its limited to, because FUP is a limit itself.

There are many other unfair practices, but I will just tell you few of the problems I faced, and its something all future and current Airtel customers or other ISP’s customer should know.

We have been using Airtel broadband services for very long, 5-6 years tops, really can’t recall when exactly. It was a Rs. 649 plans at first 256Kbps internet speed, we had this plan for a 4-5years, even after discontinued selling that plan, as I was away, and parents were light users. Some time ago they changed the plan to Rs.849 (I can’t recall the exact price, it was about this much), with 512kbps speed, and FUP limit of 8 GB, beyond which the speed used to go below 256kbps. This is totally an unfair practice, as TRAI has set a minimum broadband speed limit of 512kpbs.

Now once you are about to reach the said FUP limit, in my case 8GB, they you get a lot of pop up, saying you are reaching the FUP limit, and consider buying additional bandwidth, which thay call SmartBytes. So these pop-up just keeps coming, and spoils the internet experience. i.e. If I am on a skype call, the call is disrupted, etc. So Airtel is just nuisance to customer, and trying to fleece $$$$.

I have read a few articles on people being charged wrongly for SmartBytes,I didn’t happen to me. But I was charged twice for Airtel PC secure

So I did finally fell for it, I needed a better plan, Rs. 2599 for Rapid 175, with 8mbps internet speed. Well, it was great, 8mbps speed was just awesome, was downloading content at 1mbps speed, but the real downside was the upload speed, it was too less usually 60-80kbps, to upload content! Now that was really sad, I paid Rs 2500 for 8mbps plan, which gave me a content upload rate of 80kbps! At first I thought it was a mistake, so I checked with customer care, and all he could say was ‘Airtel only guarantees download speed and not upload speed’. Frankly this is sh**, 8mpbs plan for this upload speed.

I manage a few website, and one of the larger one has 8gb data, which I download to my PC, as back up. So downloading usually takes 2-3 hours, now uploading that content back to the web server will take me more than 1 day. This is bad for business.

In the end all I can conclude is by saying Airtel and many other ISP’s are not really upgrading their infrastructure, cluttering their network by adding more customers, fleecing money from the customer, and doing malpractices, etc. In time I hope these problems are addressed to, and TRAI is able to act on it, and work towards customers benefit and not towards the ISP’s.

My intention here was not to defame Airtel or any organization, all I trying to educate the current and the future customer the problem that exists. Also leave you with a image, with details on average internet speed, and average price for it in various countries. This would give most of a bit of idea what we people are missing.

<div class='visually_embed' data-category='Economy' rel='infographic'>
<img class='visually_embed_infographic' src='http://thumbnails.visually.netdna-cdn.com/internet-speeds-and-costs-around-the-world_50290a7186731_w587.jpeg' rel='http://thumbnails.visually.netdna-cdn.com/internet-speeds-and-costs-around-the-world_50290a7186731.jpeg' alt='Internet Speeds and Costs Around the World ' />
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<span class='visually_embed_cycle'>Explore more <a href='http://visual.ly'>infographics</a> like this one on the web's largest information design community - <a href='http://visual.ly'>Visually</a>.</span>
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<a id='visually_embed_view_more' target='_blank' href='http://visual.ly/internet-speeds-and-costs-around-world?utm_source=visually_embed'></a>
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#2
@validusvyto
your connection is home based or business based,if you were registered as business use... definitely airtel will take care.because they are configure high speed upload only for business plans.please check your account.
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#3
Yes waytobala bro you absolutely right.
Satellites-Receiving:
C-Band: 38E, 68E, 75E, 76E, 78.5E, 80E, 83E, 91.5E, 100E,105.5E  
Ku-Band:3E, 7E, 9E, 10E, 16E, 21E, 25E, 26E, 36E, 38E, 42E, 45E, 48E, 52.5E, 53E, 55E, 60E, 74E, 75E, 76E, 83E, 91.5E, 93.5E, 95E, 100.5E, 105.5E, 108E
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#4
I cant agree with you more. After using Airtel broadband for about 5 years, I f**ked their happiness, and went with MTNL connection, just bcoz I wasnt using Internet fairly. :mad44:

But, let me tell you one thing, these telecos arent to be blamed entirely. Govt are taxing them severely, and have anti-corporate policies.
Just look at, what happened at the 3G spectrum auction, none of the big companies participated. :bad looking:

Indian Govt is screwing these companies to fill their pockets, in turn these companies are screwing all of us. Better to switch to public sector companies like MTNL etc.

Cyber cafes are also a problem, where residential plans are being used for commercial purposes, with bulk data downloads.
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#5
Airtel started this bad plan and others also joined the group now. Unless TRAI/DoT take some strict actions ISPs will continue this malicious practice.


If you live in Gurgaon area BSNL seems to be good. A friend of mine who runs India's biggest broadband related forum uses it there. He was Airtel customer before.

Tata Docomo has some decent plans, you might check that also.
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