Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Have broadband now...

… thanks to Airtel finally overcoming its shyness and extending service beyond the PVR complex. I thought this wondrous gift was supposed to empower the Internet user, but now I find that there’s a modem that requires a power supply – which means no electricity, no Internet. Wtf?! I called the Airtel engineer about this and explained that my colony sometimes has long power cuts and I often need to send an email or file something on short notice; whereupon, in the tone of a cunning prosecutor who has found a huge hole in the defendant’s case, he said:

“But sir, just tell me one thing. If the electricity goes, how will you operate the computer anyway?”

(He didn’t actually add “Huh? Huh? Tell me! Huh?” at the end of the question, but it was implied, and I could picture the villainous grin and the darting eyebrows.)

“I have a laptop,” I replied tersely.

“Ohhh, a laptop,” the man sighed, like a deflated Kodak film salesman hearing about digital cameras for the first time. “But sir, others in the colony have desktops.”

Anyway, to cut a long and idiotic conversation short, he first suggested I buy a proper, respectable PC that would do the decent thing by switching off each time there was a power cut, then he made noises about inverters and UPSes. For now I’m keeping my Tata Indicom dial-up connection as a backup.

P.S. the broadband is working okay otherwise, but it’s a very strange feeling to just have the Net “on tap” and not have to perform any manual labour to get it going; I keep reflexively clicking on the Dial-up icon and then gazing at it wistfully. I also miss the beeping noise the Tata handset used to make each time a minute rolled over. Loss and yearning are life’s only constants.


  1. Loss? Yearning? DIALUP?

    It's a short-lived pain, Jai. You'll soon grow to love the fact that you can open six or seven (at the very least) IE or Firefox windows/tabs at once, download random videos/games/music and such, and all with minimal waiting.

    And then there'll soon come a time when every power cut and loss of the broadband is followed by loud, long cursing and a dialup connection while you wait for the broadband to return. :)

  2. Unfortunately the speed isn't super-fast or anything. Main advantage is that it's more consistent than the dial-up I was using earlier, which slowed down to snail-like levels at various times in the day.


  4. I remember when Airtel finally reached my housing complex. I'd bought my wireless router weeks in advance.

    Infact I suggest you go in for a wireless router yourself. Then it becomes even more wierd. You can sit in your living room with your laptop actually on your lap... and surf!!! With no cables!!!

  5. My sympathies with you..
    Nice blog,by the way..

  6. Sunil Mittal really needs to invest in better customer service ! Had a good chuckle reading your mail andhere's why : There's a full page ad in the ET advising Win Mobile on Airtel and when i called them this morning to get some more info., I was told they had NO INFORMATION on this product and I would be better off contacting them after a MONTH !! If I hadnt been so stunned hearing that i'd probably have been irked beyond reason. And this company is being touted as one of India's shining lodes. When are we ever going to stop celebrating mediocrity in all its manifestations ??

  7. oops ..type. meant to write blog in the earlier comment and wrote mail instead !

  8. Oh! This quite like when I called up Reliance Customer Service and said that I can't get connected to the internet. All he said was, "Sir, why don't you download the new driver from our website." This is like a service station saying, oh! you've run out of gas? why don't you drive to our station and we'll give you a tankfull!

    Customer service sucks!

  9. ..and then people say, privatise and you will be free from all your travails of dealing with government red tape.

    I have been using a BSNL modem for a few months now and I must say I ahve had no problems so far except for the first time when they installed a modem and it was not working..they were back the next day and replaced it.



  10. its amazing but i only see people cribbing about airtel. and all on public forums like ryze etc. yet they seem to be doing so well. i have their connection but their customer service sucks and i wouldnt really recommend it.