Post Mortem

The Fiber that made me Jittery

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/8/2021 12:01:44 PM IST

 Internet got introduced in India in 1986 by ERNET but it took a decade to make it available for the public. VSNL first launched the internet in India on August 15, 1995. I was in Bangalore then while I had the pleasure of having an early introduction to connect DoT (Department of Telecommunication) through dial up.VSNL had a monopoly over international communications where private enterpriseswere not permitted. There were times of getting a speed of a little 9.6 kbit/s and priced for hours. The service was plagued by several hardware and network issues. Despite it garnered thousands of subscribers and finally got boost in popularity after a huge investment to re-design the service.

The narrow band 2Gconnection, having speeds less than 56 kbit/s was a logjam for speed in our internet experience. In 20K, new broadband policy helped to bring download speed up to256 kbit/s. This bottleneck was removed in 2010 after auctioning 3G spectrum followed by 4G, raising speed upto 512 kbit/s. Today, internet access is provided by both public and private companies. Last year, DoT planned to raise the minimum broadband speed to 2mbps and then to 5 mbps. But optical fiber made all the difference with plethora of communication facilities. Now India has the second highest number of internet users in the world. But its Internet penetration rate is only 42%.India’s performance in Speedtest Global Index is ranked 69th for average fixed broadband and 128th for average mobile internet.

We’ve all heard the fiber, the high speed broadband servicewho stood apart from the others with its booming internet and streaming industries in India. When other telecom sectors are under stress, it was Jio that hit BhartiAirtel, Vodafone Idea to made loss continuously. With access to the best of data, we can connect to the world at a speed ranging from 30Mbps to 1Gbps. The free services, coupled with relatively low-cost internet, have sparked a fierce price war. It finally disrupted India’s booming internet. The mobile network prices plunged after Reliance introduced free calls and data during 2016.

Yet I did not fall prey to Jio’s offer.  I was continuing with BSNL. But non availability of 4G spectrum has left state owned BSNL behind its competitors in consumer experience despite improvement of network. Young Indians are facing an array of tempting offers on streaming platforms and even cinema halls. They are choosing streaming over TV now. It helped Indian media and entertainment industry to register explosive growth. Most of the telecom Operatorsis in line with their plans to phase out 3G Technology and I had no option but to choose that fiber for want of speed. Now we are living in a virtual world. Unfortunately our days are dragged for slow connectivity – eventually it is time for a change.

Last Sunday, a call from a Jio Fiber came as a rude awakening to the hardships of poor network connectivity. Surprisingly all the plans are unlimited at different speed and free OTT (Over-the-top) Apps. After a few talks over phone, I finally succumbs their plans.The sales team came and booked for broadband internet connection online with refundable fee Rs. 2500 and Rs. 1000 for recharge paidthrough cash. We were happy to see the service engineers,who promptly reached on the same evening itself for installation. 

But happy moments are short lived. We were shocked to hear that recharge amount is free for the first month.Such mischief was very unfortunate. A complaint was lodged. But there was no action other thanacknowledgingmy grievance. They were still at large for contact. The consumers are often deprived of their rights due to lax market monitoring and inspection. Violation of consumer rights is continually on the rise for lack of consumer awareness and increasing number of dishonest traders. After a long communication,I found another jolt on the fourth day, when they recharged it free for another month.

Kamal Baruah 


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