[qi:004] The metered bandwidth malaise that is spreading across the U.S. — Internet service providers such as Cox, Comcast, Charter, Time Warner and AT&T are all dabbling at restricting your monthly bandwidth — is taking root in other parts of the world. In India, two major […]

[qi:004] The metered bandwidth malaise that is spreading across the U.S. — Internet service providers such as Cox, Comcast, Charter, Time Warner and AT&T are all dabbling at restricting your monthly bandwidth — is taking root in other parts of the world. In India, two major broadband suppliers – Airtel (click to download a pdf of their terms and conditions) and Tata Indicom — have started imposing restrictions on their already meager broadband offerings. We think metered broadband is a regressive move.

  1. Yes Om..Its very heart breaking. When I first came to know about it along with my monthly bill, I was shocked but not that much as I was aware that it is happening in other countries also so why not in India. But really its so said. I have even signed a petition also for this. Have a look at this link – http://afup.broadbandforum.in/. It is having all the updates related to this matter and the information of some services which may be affected by it –

    Video conferencing/telecommunication
    Video streaming
    Distribution of legitimate software
    Legal distribution of movies, music etc.
    Work from home
    Connecting businesses
    VOIP etc.

  2. Wasn’t almost ALL internet service in India metered from the very beginning? I thought unlimited broadband was the exception and metered broad was the rule in India as long as I’ve known. Am I missing something here?

    1. well now it is all in writing and now there is little you can do. my hope is that BSNL and MTNL keep these guys honest. I am sure they are going to raise their rates as well. I think the idea of unlimited broadband at $5 a month at 2 mbps was actually pretty smart. there is not much damage you can do with that speed to be honest.

  3. The sad part is that even unlimited broadband does not mean unlimited any more. Look at this offer from Reliance Communications (a leading telecom operator in India) – http://offers.connectindia.in/reliance/tariff.jsp

    Written in small letters – *Unlimited usage plans will have a fair usage policy of 10GB/month.

    1. yes, i do agree that is how carriers hide it. i am not sure how they expect people to pay more money for this stuff. i wouldn’t. you guys should start a petition or something in order to put pressure on the DOT

      1. Petition and result !!!

        Come on OM. This is India. You very well know it!

        They never even give the promised speed. It is a shame that these carriers ask for a “1st world price” for a “3rd world service”.

  4. Hey Om;
    We were having metered broadband since the day internet was introduced I guess.


  5. Unlimited internet from MTNL at 2mbps costs about USD 400/month…yes 400. Everything else is metered, the plan I have from MTLN is unlimited at night between 12am to 8am but everything else falls under their monthly cap of 1.25GB a month….1.25GB a month!!!

    1. damn shame if that is indeed the case. i thought it was Rs. 4000 for 2 mbps. no? MTNL I guess is even more bone headed that the other two.

      1. Its 4000 for 1Mbps, 7500 for 2Mbps from MTNL.

        I cant see these guys getting away with this.Using the word unlimited here is false advertising. TRAI Consumer protections are pretty strong, and I for one will be making a complaint on their website.

        Bandwidth caps are counterproductive in a country where few people(I think the number is 8 million as opposed to 75 million with internet enabled cell service) are using the internet on a PC. The selling point for these guys should be see how much you can do, instead of see how little you can do. At limits of a couple of GB all im going to be able to is check my email and basic surfing. So the argument becomes why would someone use the broadband internet on the PC instead of a cell phone, when the stuff I can do is about the same.

  6. Agree with Libran on this…this is probably news to non-Indian readers of Om’s blog but for those of us here having had “broadband” in India for the longest time, we’ve always had it metered…with the lack of the promised “killer app”, all forms of broadband (mobile or fixed) are probably going to be metered…

  7. we should go consumer court and lodge a formal complaint at TRAI

  8. It’s ridiculous trying to stay within the bandwidth cap limits in India with video content becoming the norm now. No matter the plan, the customer is being fleeced.

    I switched from a 3 mbps plan, since I kept exceeding the 2.5 GB monthly limit, to an unlimited 192 kbps plan (yes, they call 192 kbps “broadband”!), and yet I notice my download bandwidth being throttled quite often, especially with certain sites.

    I can’t wait to get back to the US where internet plans are still affordable and not considered a luxury.

  9. It is interesting that Indian ISPs tend to ignore the good stuff about broadband worldwide but pick up bad habits almost immediately. So while Indians get charged almost Rs. 1500 (USD30) for 512 kbps unlimited, where the same money would get significantly better bandwidth in most developed countries, we now also have to contend with usage restrictions bordering on the ridiculous, while having the privilege paying the same prices.

    The situation is risen due to lack of competition, compounded by almost non existent landline infrastructure created by private players. And then, there is are cable networks who only started deploying optic fibre and digital cable over the past few years. The last mile of the cable operators network is still owned by untrained and unscrupulous small sub operators who see little benefit in upgrading their systems as long as network is working adequately for delivering cable.

    And ofcourse, international bandwidth is not cheap, thanks to government policies that resulted in creation of what certainly looks like a cartel in bandwidth supply.

  10. Airtel provides the most stable connectivity, ‘Unlimited plans’ are around Rs 799( $16) for 256 Kbps, Rs 999 ($20) for 384 Kbps and Rs 1399 ($28) for 512 Kbps Unlimited. Airtel is now capping these plans, few people understand the need to cap such low speed plans but that’s how telecom providers operate.

    However Airtel offers the best rates and service quality. Other players include Reliance, BSNL/MTNL and Tata Indicom but they either don’t have unlimited plans or have higher priced plans than Aairtel. BSNL does have a 256 Kbps unlimited plan for Rs 700 ($14) though.


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