If you thought the BSNL Dataone offers sounded too good to be true, you are probably right! Just like everyone else, I too was excited at the plans and convinced my boss that we should shift from our existing Airtel 512 broadband line to a BSNL Dataone connection. As the published tariff was exactly half of what we were paying, it also seemed a wise decision from a budget point of view.
So, we filled out the form and submitted it at our local exchange, and were told that “someone would come to our premises and do the installation.”
On Friday, an engineer (A JE, I think) from BSNL, accompanied by an assistant and our local “lineman” came marching into our office. Our lineman carried a brand new modem in his hands, and was looking very happy. I told him that we already had a modem and we wouldn’t be needing the new one. He rushed to assure me that it was alright and that we could use our old modem itself.
The engineer busied himself at my terminal, saying he had to install something – he wouldn’t say what. When I asked him about settings and configuring the connection, he seemed a bit lost and said, “You click on this icon and you will be online.” The icon he was talking about was a shortcut to a dialup connection he had created with no settings whatsoever.
While he was doing this, the other person and the lineman were in our backroom, trying to make sure the wiring was okay. As I had been around when the original wiring was done, and had taken care to label the wires, I was able to do the rewiring without too much help.
It was then, after all this, that the Engineer casually informed me that the internet connection would not work till the next day – they would “activate” it only then. It was a good thing I had not jumped headlong into this by cancelling our other broadband connection. So we switched back to the old connection and decided to wait till today.
This morning, after trying unsuccessfully to browse – how the hell can one browse if the settings have not been changed? – I call up BSNL customer care. After trying for some time, I get through, only to be told by the executive that the technical team will look at the complaint and call me back before end of today. I am still waiting.
So much for the much-vaunted Broadband-for-everyone schemes.
Update on 13 May 2006: Kingsly, uber-geek and all-round tech wiz and nice guy has some good information on BSNL Dataone. Check out his FAQs on BSNL Dataone and his analysis of the BSNL Dataone Metering System. He also points us to Appaji’s Using the BSNL DataOne ADSL service.