[PLUG] [OT] Some recent ISP options evaluations

Mayuresh mayuresh at acm.org
Fri May 17 21:47:21 PDT 2013

I had a started a thread in this list a few weeks back asking for
experiences with ISPs when I was trying to find one for my use.

I evaluated 3/4 options and thought I should share my experience:

1. Tata Communications: My trusted wired broadband connection for years.
No more trustworthy. Severe reliability problems, mainly with their
outsourced cabling work to ICC. But otherwise this was extremely reliable,
particularly the speeds were guaranteed to work at promised levels. Closed
this now.

2. Tata Photon: Not great speeds. I get between 400-600 kbps regularly.
When moving around, noticed speeds up to 1 mbps. But one advantage is free
roaming all over India. Only complaint I have is, when you go out of any
major cities, it does not work as promised. It is advertised to work at
155kbps in smaller cities.

Customer service is not really good. They couldn't help at all when above
technical problem was referred to them. Got all stereotype answers.

Also, with lesser speeds it needs to be cheaper than 3G. Its rates are
nearly same as that of 3G plans.

3. BSNL 3G: Very fluctuating speeds, often drop as low as 10kbps. But
great coverage and free roaming. I prefer this connection when travelling
to outskirts. Preferable to use as prepaid on need basis. Not useful as
your regular home internet connection.

4. Tata Docomo 3G: I find speeds to be constantly around 1MBPS. But I have
just started using this. Keeping fingers crossed. Sales part was smooth. A
demo was provided at my normal place of usage before buying. Customer
service is again same as Photon - ok for routine matters, useless for any
detailed technical queries.

Both Photon and Docomo 3G have some strange anomalies in the systems to
track your usage, with different places showing different usage levels.
After watching for a while I realized one of those places to be reliable.
So I wouldn't outrightly say their billing is faulty. Reported the
anomalies. They maintain they are "working on the issue".

As someone advised on the list, instead of using mobile phone tethering I
bought Lava W150 router, which works very well with above options. It's
best to ask the seller with your specific modem number whether it is
supported. Its range is limited, but at home I use my old router as a
bridge to extend the same. BTW this model is no more available and has
been replaced with W200 by Lava.

I need one more such router for travel needs. So any feedback on any other
models will be useful.


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