Of my struggle with a Broadband Connection

Posted by Siddharth Chadha at May 29, 2009 08:05 AM |
This is a reflection on my experiences with installing a broadband Internet connection at home. The closing post of an interview is delayed since Jamie and Peter are traveling.

While you read this article, it is likely that I am sitting at my home/workspace, relishing a Kirostami film, cooking, cleaning, reading, or maybe out in the market. All but surfing the cloud. Until last year, Weather and Broadband Internet were the two best things about living in Bangalore. Especially the later. A stable fast always on Internet connection is what many of my friends in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai wish for on Christmas. When I first applied for a 384 Kbps Connection with Airtel in my Aga Abdullah Street house in Richmond Town, Airtel became my Santa and obliged. The engineers came the same day and changed my life. The world of Cinema came begging to my feet with Bit Torrent technology. Streaming became an everyday affair on Internet that was the best I had ever had. In my bliss of downloading bytes upon bytes, I forgot the lesson that experienced souls like Lord Krishna in Gita and Gautam Buddha tell: Nothing in the world is Permanent.

It was at the end of March that I called up Airtel and requested for my connection to be transferred to 8th Main Road on Vasant Nagar. Assured with a time frame of 10 days, I waited patiently. After two weeks of waiting, I was inclined to call and see when I would get my internet bliss back. The process was delayed and at the end of the week, I was informed that due to a fault in their line, they could not provide me with a new connection. Furious, I called up TATA and asked their people to fit their 512 Kbps Wimax technology in my house. The installation charges were to be waived off if I payed for 4 months in advance. I agreed and the Internet was back. It did not take me long to realize that the new TATA Wimax connection was anywhere close to my old Airtel Broadband. Every couple of hours I would be disconnected from the network when I would have to call the customer care and reset my account. Alas, I had paid for 4 months in advance and this would have to be a long wait. Soon enough, I found myself proficient enough to log into the Tata Indicom server and solve the problem myself. In the meanwhile, an engineer from Airtel called me to check if I still needed to old connection and I asked him to wait for a couple of months. To cut down my ordeal, I decided to upgrade my connection for a Night booster plan, which would mean a full 1 Mbps speed at night. A little too much to expect as things barely boosted on any of the nights that followed. At the end of the third month, I requested them to disconnect the connection, and pledged never to go back to them again.

As I once more, cheerfully walked inside the Airtel office at Cunningham Road, my dream Internet connection flashed in front of my eyes. I played out the procedure of the next couple of hours in front of my eyes, expecting the engineers to be home, creating a mess while drilling wires. And when it is all done, I would go back and spend the night catching up with all the episodes of my favorite shows that I had missed over the past 3 months. The executive informed me that this would take a little longer than expected, 3 days on the max! I looked up for more patience within myself and went back home. The paper work was completed the next day and the payment of Rs. 2000 was made. A week later, I was still waiting for the engineers to come. Expectantly, I would call the local executive who would promise to be at my service in a couple of hours and not turn up. The game went for a couple of days before he finally turned up. In the next 20 minutes of him jumping on the terrace, exploring the outside of the house, he came to break the news to me. “Sorry Sir, we cannot put a connection here. There is a fault in the line coming this side and it will take at least a month to fix it.” I was almost in tears. His words broke my heart and all he could do to console me was promise a refund in 3 days. The cheque came a couple of weeks later. And I still call him to check every three days, if the fault has been repaired and I can get my dream Internet back!

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