BSNL, our wonderful government telecom
provider, has of late been putting out big newspaper advertisements touting its great new
broadband service called DataOne. These ads are remarkable in that they contain
absolutely no information except that they’re introducing a new service. That,
and their web site URL is all.
A couple of weeks ago, there was absolutely no information on their web site
either – all very perplexing at the time. Today, there was yet another ad about
DataOne, but once more no information about plans or cost. After today’s ad, I
checked their site again. Now they even have an FAQ
about the service.
So does it help? Nope, that’s basically a page about what ADSL
is. The two most important things you need to know are completely missing: available
throughput and pricing. Here’s what the page has to say about it:
How about Broadband Plans and Pricing?
These will be declared very soon. Meanwhile you can fill up the
registration form so that we can work out the logistics for your connection.
They even have a
form you can fill up to get a connection even though you don’t know what
you’ll get and for how much. (The form is an image. Wow!)
It contains the helpful clarification:
* Tariff will be most competitive in the industry
** Data rate of 256 kbps and above
That sure tells you a lot, doesn’t it?
According to Kingsly, who has spoken to some
BSNL folks, they have yet to decide on download speeds and tariff, and the
service is supposed to launched only around 15 January. So why on earth are they
wasting money on advertisements if they haven’t worked out any of the important
details yet? Who knows? Somebody on the india-gii list thought that it was
because they wanted to use their ad budget in this financial year. Ah, that
explains it all, doesn’t it?
I’m waiting to be pleasantly surprised by BSNL giving us a 512 Kbps unlimited
connection for about 2000 bucks a month. I’m currently on the
Airtel Broadband 128 kbps DSL
plan which costs approximately Rs. 1450 per month with all the fine print
charges included. It’s already saving me about 5000 Rupees every month, but I’d
love to have some higher throughput. That 128 Kbps is called
"broadband" in this country is downright shameful.