BSNL is one of the most underrated Internet Service Providers around. I had got the largest under-utilized infrastructure in the country. The reach of its network is enough to give shocks of life to the likes of JIO, however, it lags behind because of the step-mother treatment it has always received from the government and its own staff. However, lately, looks like the scenario is changing and BSNL has started behaving better. The website UI look and feel is much better than before. The plans of BSNL can give tough competition to JIO and others. But for unknown reasons, its mobile network is still not 4G and hence it’s lagging behind others.
I have already written in my blog about the real performance of internet services in India. I also wanted to give BSNL a try. I’ve been applying online for a new connection for the last couple of years. But every time the request was either being closed without information or someone used to call me to inform me that there is no feasibility in my area, so connection can’t be given at that time.
Recently, towards the end of 2018, I applied online again. Fortunately, this time their local personnel called me after few days and informed me that FTTH (Fiber To The Home) is available in my area, and connection can be given. I agreed, and then in a few hours, a representative came to get the application form filled up and collect the requisite fee.
After a few days, their technical personnel arrived, did the cabling, handed me over, and connected the customer premises equipment (GPON ONT, UPS). I called in the evening to one of their technical staff, who then handed me over my user name and passwords and also walked me through the process of configuring the GPON ONT. After that, internet connectivity started working.
I’ve been using it for about 2 months now, so let’s see what are the advantages and disadvantages of BSNL FTTH, as per my view:
Good data throughput. Maybe because not many people use BSNL, but it’s good. When I download a bigger application from Microsoft Store on my Windows 10 laptop, it goes till 5mbps on WiFi and 54mbps on ethernet cable connection. My plan is of 40mbps. I don’t stand by the above statement anymore, after a few months of usage the data throughput speed went down and also the speed wasn’t consistent.
2. You get a free phone facility. If you have your own landline phone instrument, just connect it to the GPON ONT and use it. The calls are free for Local/STD. Voice quality on the phone line is good. But as typical of BSNL the routes become busy at any time.
3. The GPON ONT box comes with its own UPS. Its battery would be dead most probably, but if you don’t have invertor for your home, just replace that battery in the UPS from your pocket and your internet and phone will work during power outages also.
1. Some times the time taken by them to install or to solve a technical problem is a little long, not to my liking.
2. Their customer care people over the phone, speak only the local language. So if you don’t know the local language, then the customer care number is useless for you.
3. If the internet user name provided by them is too long, the GPON ONT box missed a few characters during reboot. Hence after reboot, the internet doesn’t get connected automatically. You need to log on to its UI and add the missing letters to the username and save, then it gets connected. In such case note down the user id and password, hard reset the GPON ONT box and then enter the user id & password again and save. It should be fixed.
Conclusion: For the basic FTTH plan you pay about Rs 750 per month. For that, you get high-speed internet connection and free Local/STD calls. If you’re in good terms with the technical people in the local BSNL office, then any issues can be solved really fast too, they’re really helpful. I have taken and abandoned internet connections from many ISPs before due to one problem or the other.
But looks like I’m going to stick with BSNL for now. Nope, I don’t have the connection anymore, I’ve surrendered it due to poor performance mentioned above and replaced it with JIO Fiber. However, it doesn’t mean it’s totally bad, I know some of my friends have been using it for a long time. I would say my expectations are very high which it couldn’t meet. Maybe it’s more than enough for you.