Sgamen Personal Tech

Upgrading my broadband connection...

Upgrading my Broadband...

Finally managed to upgrade my BSNL broadband from an unlimited 256Kbps to an unlimited 512Kbps (still dialup speed compared to the 6Mbps I had in the US)

Before I left (for the US in 2007) I was paying the equivalent of $10 for an "up to" 2 Mbps connection (limited, of course, to some GB). My tenant "upgraded" it to an
unlimited plan after getting one shocker of a bill (around 20,000 Rs ~ $400) one fine month. Guess that comes with having teenage children..
That plan, unfortunately had a speed cap of 256 Kbps.

Once in the US I was a little disappointed at the relatively high rates for broadband, not to mention that taking only Broadband was more expensive than taking a phoneline + broadband. So imaging my surprise (shock) when I get back 2 years later - Broadband has not gotten any cheaper - I cannot get a 2 Mbps connection (unlimited) without giving the proverbial arm and leg (or in this case at least the finger).

After a few days of "research" - which mostly constituted visiting broadband forum sites - came to the conclusion that Airtel could be a good choice. But I did want to give BSNL a fair chance before that.

Apparently you cannot submit a request online (the concept of doing anything online seems to be alien to BSNL), so after one false start on a Saturday that turned out to be the 2nd Saturday of the month (the BSNL office was closed) - went in and submitted an application (which was basically on a small slip of paper not even big enough to wipe your rear cleanly).
I was highly skeptical that the slip would make its way to the right place - so lo and behold my surprise when, on the following Wednesday, the net started feeling a little faster!
I found that it had been upgraded to 512 kbps. Miracles still happen! (I guess it is all about expectations!).

One problem I did face though - and this was on Friday evening and Saturday morning, some websites were not accessible (I could access google, linkedin, and other popular sites - but some sites just wouldn't open). A quick net search followed with all suggestions pointing to try and change the MTU size to a lower value.

After a couple of hours spent Saturday morning, which included changing the MTU on the macbook and the Dlink modem, I just gave up - but, lady luck was still smiling on me half an hour later everything was back online! I guess someone somewhere in BSNL must have reset some routers (I use opendns - so I don't think it was a DNS issue).

Next stop - deciding if I want one more "backup" connection or maybe a data card connection...


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