19:45 10th May, 2013
Airtel Broadband Offers 100 Mbps Plans In Delhi & Mumbai
So this is what they call the information super-highway? But wait, there's a traffic snarl ahead.
If super-speed Internet of the Scandinavian type had been your dream, you are lucky if you live in select parts of Mumbai or New Delhi where Airtel offers FTTH service. Beating out much-smaller players in the consumer market (RailWire, ACT/Beam Broadband), Airtel has pretty interesting Broadband plans that you may want to check out.
Getting very high speed connections was always possible of course, but it cost the moon from larger operators, and was priced sky-high even by the smaller entrants that have been offering Fibre-to-the-Home in select Indian cities. The trick in the case of Airtel's decent pricing, seems to be to offer such a plan with consumer-grade FUP limits, and more importantly, the willingness to muster the braveness to begin such operations.
All broadband Internet operators who provide speeds above 20 Mbps have been doing so with optic fibre cables, so we get to finally say Hallelujah for the OFCs that were laid in the last few years and caused traffic inconveniences with all the digging it required. I'm excited to think about how Internet transfer speeds will run as fast as a direct LAN connection (100 Mbps) between two computers in my house. Of course, we could still complain about the absence of Gigabit-speed plans to match our WiFi router, but I digress.
The pricing for the 100 Mbps plan will hit a full round-number of Rs 6,000 once you include VAT and other such taxes. It is obviously targeted at those who can afford spending 72k a year upon their Internet connection alone, so I don't grudge Airtel for it. What we do have from Airtel is pretty good, provided you can afford the price. Here's a table listing the Fibrenet plans that Airtel offers at the top-end, compared to the relatively slower speed plans it offers at lower prices:
For those who see value in Fibrenet plans despite the price, two issues stand out glaringly.
- First, is the speed you'll drop down to once you cross your "Fair Usage Policy" cap (or FUP limit). The laws allow Airtel to designate it as an unlimited internet connection, but dropping from 100 Mbps speed down to 512 Kbps can be traumatic if you get used to the 200x faster speed. But this is obviously the only way Airtel affords to offer such a plan to consumers and homes.
- Second is the time, observe the last row in the table above. We at TechTree worked that out so you don't have to - it is a measure of the number of hours you can surf at the full advertised speed, before you drop down to the minimum "broadband" speeds defined by TRAI. Note that Airtel usually counts uploads as well toward its data-transfer limits. My eyes popped - download at full speed for just four hours in a month?
Let us know your thoughts about these plans that recently got operational, and what your reasoning is, to go for them despite the FUP limits. Or are you tired of the old argument already, about just why you don't need to receive advertised speed for the whole month, or how you need not download more than your FUP limit?
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