I’ve used BSNL’s broadband services for a full decade since 2006 to now (September 2016). I have seen the worst and good moments of their broadband service. Recently I faced serious disconnection issued with their broadband and was looking for another service.. Finally I got Railwire’s Broadband over fibre, so ditched BSNL’s. In this post I share my experience with BSNL and why I chose Railwire.
Why I discontinued BSNL broadband subscription
Overall experience with BSNL is good, but not the best among the market. I have to take BSNL broadband in 2006 because there’s no other options to choose. BSNL was known for its best coverage across India, especially to the small towns and rural areas like mine. It took 6 months to get the new connection from the date I applied. In terms of speed and bandwidth it was good. When I say speed, it is ‘ping’ time, on average I always managed to get 25 ms. The connection quality was good, until your telephone wire gets old. I have change the entire wire from the nearest junction to my home 3 times in 10 years. Apart from that there was frequent disconnections and if the wiring joints were damaged due to worst weathers. If this happen, then getting quick fix or response from their staff is completely out of question. Sometimes I have waited for solid month to restore my connections. The one reason for the this is they have large subscriber base and the other is their staff’s are lazy and under skilled.
Out of these despair I have to live with this BSNL broadband all these year only because I have no other option to choose. Finally I have few options this year. Namely Airtel and Railwire. I have tried Airtel wireless broadband for one day in my home as a demo. Unfortunately my home is not under the complete coverage (oops not Airtel’s fault) where I get only 2 mbps in the 4 mbps plan. I have to mention that I didn’t get the connection directly from Airtel, it’s from the third-party distributor who has Airtel’s leased line.
Long story short, Railwire is the initiative took by govt. of India with the goal of connecting all rural areas across India with internet enable fibre. Their trunk fibre bundles goes along the rail tracks (India has lengthiest rails and it is well connected across cities, towns). From every railway station a branch is tapped and will be distributed locally to each home with the help of local cable operators (out-sourced).
Hearing this, I opted for a new broadband connection by contacting my local operator. Filing one application with one address proof of my location and one ID proof with one passport size photo is suffice to apply. Within three hours of time I got the username and password to my mobile.. Wow… Fortunate for me, their local hub is not far from my home they also brought the fibre cable to my home the next day. Connection made. The configuration was very simple. Tested the connection, it was very fast always my ping take less than 15 ms and the bandwidth is full 10 mbps (as per my broadband plan) and the catch is I got 10 mbps of upload speed too.
Comparing BSNL with Railwire – Price point
For BSNL, I paid around Rs. 1300 for “upto 8 mbps” plan with 60gb. The plan is ‘upto 8 mbps’, that means you won’t get 8 mbps all the time… But in Railwire, I have to pay Rs. 1150 for “10 mbps” plan with 60 gb of monthly download. Railwire wins….
Comparing – Quality of connection
Definitely fibre wins.. BSNL planned to offer FTTH in the upcoming year, says the local BSNL staff. But they only offer it only if they get bunch of applications in one area.. (like multistory buildings). So who gives fibre-to-the-home today (not next year) wins..
Service quality and response
Railwire responds quicker and the local operators are good.. No say on BSNL.. Either I have to go up to ‘grievance cell’ or have to wait days and days with inane answers until the connection is fixed.
I wrote this article completely based on my personal experience with BSNL and Railwire.. I’m not representing any mass, your experience may vary. Use the ‘comment’ section below to share your views.