Broadband internet connections in India are a joke. Here, 256 Kbps is still considered to be fast and anything above 512 Kbps still costs a bomb. However, Airtel is hoping to change all that by offering free speed bumps to all Airtel Broadband customers.
According to Airtel’s press release, their new broadband threshold (i.e. the minimum speed offered under broadband plans) will be 512 Kbps. In other worlds, subscribers of 64, 128 and 256 Kbps plans will be upgraded to 512 Kbps connections. Customers currently on 512 kbps and 1 mbps plans will have their speeds doubled to 1Mbps and 2 Mbps respectively. The automatic upgrades will not incur any additional charges and would be completed by June 2010. Airtel will also introduce new ‘Impatience Plans’, which will offer 4 Mbps speeds starting at Rs 899. The Impatience Plans will be available in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. However, as always, there is a catch.
None of these high speed plans offered by Airtel are unlimited in their truest sense. Once the subscriber has used up his quota of bandwidth, he will be offered two choices. He can either chose to pay 10paisa/MB of data transfer or settle for unlimited data transfer at 256 kbps for the remainder of the month.
Airtel’s new initiative is a positive move; however, what millions of Indians really want is a fast, affordable yet truly unlimited broadband plan. It is a shame that all the big names are still inclined on ripping off subscribers by advertising big speeds and setting low bandwidth limits.