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...