Moved to AirTel Broadband

My home Internet access for the last 18 months has been thru LG2030 Reliance Rconnect plan. Been quiet a happy camper with this setup – reliable and steady 144kbps connection via USB/Serial port on FreeBSD, NetBSD and Linux. The best part of using Rconnect is that it would work anywhere in India and at the same rates. This was a killer deal. The only downside to Rconnect is its min 300sec latency to any host which I found to be grossly annoying when I would go oncall and needed a (almost) real time experience over SSH.

I always wanted to switch to DSL but the high entry cost and the usage based billing always put me off. However, I chanced upon the Airtel booth at and learnt that a Rs500 down payment with Rs999 pm will get me unlimited usage @256kbps. This is way better than the Rs1008 pm which I pay for Rconnect.

The link is up and stable for the moment. However, Airtel is not without its set of problems.

  • The installation engineer never turn up on time. Repeatedly.
  • He didn't give me the correct password to begin with. Customer support helps for password cases.
  • The first Beetel 220BX modem decided to stop working all of a sudden on Tuesday. Calls to customer support didn't change anything. An engineer finally came home and replaced the modem which worked. Later in the evening, tried his hand at getting the original modem to work and it magically started working. Am now back using the old modem.
  • Lots of frequent retraining. Looking at syslog output from the modem, it seems to be a unresponsive DNS servers which cause the modem to reset. After weeding out dead DNS servers from the list which the engineers gave, there have been no problems in the last 8 hours today. My guess is that the modem queries DNS servers to check if the link is up – no response == reset.

    Probably another week before I can call the Airtel link production worthy for my use. Meanwhile, I have downgraded my Rconnect plan from the 650 plan to the zero rental one where you pay per minute. No plans to hang up Reliance connection yet, it has proved to be a life saver on many occasions during oncall periods.

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    By Shanker Balan

    Shanker Balan is a devops and infrastructure freelancer with over 14 years of industry experience in large scale Internet systems. He is available for both short term and long term projects on contract. Please use the Contact Form for any enquiry.