Another Broadband Internet scam – Burstable Speeds

A few days back, I wrote about how vendors are tricking customers with the “unlimited broadband” packages. Unfortunately there’s another broadband scam happening. Have you noticed?

Broadband vendors claim speeds of 256 kbps, 512 kbps or even more. However the customer never gets speeds anywhere close to this mark. You file a complaint and the vendor claims that the speed claimed is “burstable” speed. He then explains that burstable speed is the max ever possible for your connection. So even if your connection touches that mark once in one month, the vendor would say that he has fulfilled his commitment.

I doubt if that “burstable” speed is reached even once a month. You would normally get max speeds of about 1/2 to 2/3 rd of the speed claimed by the vendor. 

TRAI, the regulatory body for broadband services in India, has stated that only speeds above 256 kbps can be claimed as broadband. Unfortunately it does not state the speed below which the speed should not drop.

If I have bought a connection for 512kbps and the vendor at anytime drops the speed below 400kbps, it should be a failure of service and the consumer need not pay. When you buy milk, we do not accept it if the milkman only delivers pure milk once a month and mixes 1 or two portions of water on all the other days.

It’s true that it is a tough thing to regulate the broadband vendors. The vendors will also never declare true stats on their own. But it will at least be a weapon in the hands of the consumers. As things stand today, broadband vendors claim 512 kbps, rarely deliver even half that speed and still get away with it.

Thinking of it, I have tried VSNL (Tata Indicom), Sify, Reliance and Iqara and none of these providers ever touched the burstable marks they claim.

Privatisation is good, healthy competition even better. But remove the regulator and the companies will gang up and take the customer for a ride. In case of mobile and broadband technology, there is a regulator (TRAI) but as happens so often with technology, the bureaucrats and govt officials don’t quite understand technology and mess up the rules and the law.

  • Prafulla

    I fully agree with the author. Broadband service is just one of many issues in which a customer can’t complain to anybody (i.e it’s of no use fighting alone)

  • Prafulla

    I fully agree with the author. Broadband service is just one of many issues in which a customer can’t complain to anybody (i.e it’s of no use fighting alone)

  • Raj

    Why dont we just send emails on this subject to TRAI?
    Here is the email address of TRAI in case anyone wants to send in complaints:

    trai@del2.vsnl.net.in

    Lets flood these guys with emails and hopefully someone will respond.

  • Raj

    Why dont we just send emails on this subject to TRAI?
    Here is the email address of TRAI in case anyone wants to send in complaints:

    trai@del2.vsnl.net.in

    Lets flood these guys with emails and hopefully someone will respond.

  • Ajoy Eric Lal

    I fully agree with Harshad Oak.
    To find out more on what I have done to take VSNL/ TATA-indicom to the cleaners. Read the following link:
    http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Tata_Indicom-131724-1.html
    It really is a scam. You will find phone numbers there that will help you navigate. Write to me if you need more on the aforementioned ISP.
    Thanks
    Ajoy (ajoyericlal AT gmail DOT com)

  • I fully agree with Harshad Oak.
    To find out more on what I have done to take VSNL/ TATA-indicom to the cleaners. Read the following link:
    http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Tata_Indicom-131724-1.html
    It really is a scam. You will find phone numbers there that will help you navigate. Write to me if you need more on the aforementioned ISP.
    Thanks
    Ajoy (ajoyericlal AT gmail DOT com)

  • Manish Aggarwal

    Your grievance is cent percent correct. Even to add to what you have stated above is the download speed provided by ISPs such as VSNL. We never get download speed as stated since the download speed & Surfing speed are diff. The download speed is 1/8th of the Surfing speed… This fact is never disclosed by ISPs.. They openly cheat the consumers & Flout all the regulatory norms but over Honourable TRAI, who is the apex body, is never ashamed to act like a DUMP SPECTATOR.

  • Manish Aggarwal

    Your grievance is cent percent correct. Even to add to what you have stated above is the download speed provided by ISPs such as VSNL. We never get download speed as stated since the download speed & Surfing speed are diff. The download speed is 1/8th of the Surfing speed… This fact is never disclosed by ISPs.. They openly cheat the consumers & Flout all the regulatory norms but over Honourable TRAI, who is the apex body, is never ashamed to act like a DUMP SPECTATOR.

  • Akshat

    If the download speed is just 1/8th of the speed claimed by the ISPs, then the bill paid should also be 1/8th the amount! Really, even God cannot save the Indian broadband customers!! Poor creatures!

  • Akshat

    If the download speed is just 1/8th of the speed claimed by the ISPs, then the bill paid should also be 1/8th the amount! Really, even God cannot save the Indian broadband customers!! Poor creatures!

  • Rajnish

    Beware of Airtel: internet speed Throttling in full swing in Unlimited 699/780/999/1250/2000Offers
    I am user of airtel home 699 128kbps connection unlimited in delhi and was getting file download speed of 17-20 kbps during day and 30-34 kbps during night. since 15th of oct, 07 they reduced my speed to max file download speed of 10 kbps day or night. Earlier i was getting min. 128 kbps bandwidth , now they reduced it to 64 kbps bandwidth to max 128 kbps bandwidth which never happens. the reason they are citing isas i’m downloading more than 3 gb per month, i am a commercial user and not a residential user. Hence the speed is reduced. Funny thing is in my office in gurgaon the same connection is there and heavy downloads are there still there we are getting best speeds of 20 kbps in day and 35-40 kbps in night (so much for differentiation b/w commercial and residential usage) when asked about this to airtel care they said it will happen everywhere now. if i’m paying for unlimited 128kbps then i should get min file download speed of 32 kbps acc to TRAI guidelines with max upto 64 kbps which never happened. Airtel is a big cheatercock & beware of this.

  • Rajnish

    Beware of Airtel: internet speed Throttling in full swing in Unlimited 699/780/999/1250/2000Offers
    I am user of airtel home 699 128kbps connection unlimited in delhi and was getting file download speed of 17-20 kbps during day and 30-34 kbps during night. since 15th of oct, 07 they reduced my speed to max file download speed of 10 kbps day or night. Earlier i was getting min. 128 kbps bandwidth , now they reduced it to 64 kbps bandwidth to max 128 kbps bandwidth which never happens. the reason they are citing isas i’m downloading more than 3 gb per month, i am a commercial user and not a residential user. Hence the speed is reduced. Funny thing is in my office in gurgaon the same connection is there and heavy downloads are there still there we are getting best speeds of 20 kbps in day and 35-40 kbps in night (so much for differentiation b/w commercial and residential usage) when asked about this to airtel care they said it will happen everywhere now. if i’m paying for unlimited 128kbps then i should get min file download speed of 32 kbps acc to TRAI guidelines with max upto 64 kbps which never happened. Airtel is a big cheatercock & beware of this.

  • Rajnish

    Acc to TRAI: Broadband limit is 256 KBps ie 256 Kilobytes per second which is equivalent to 256 x 8 = 2 MB or megabytes per second.

    Funny: 1 byte = 8 bits now. Now ISPs are claiming all benefits from Govt. for providing broadband and are providing 256 kbps and not 256 KBps.

    note diff b/w KB (kilo bytes) and kb (kilo bits).

    So actual speed we are getting is min 256 / 8 ie 32 KBps (32 kilo bytes per second) to max 64 KBps for 256 kbps connection. This is technical about broadband. So you understand how ISPs are fooling the indian govt also

    In europe now believe this ulimited 1 MBps and not 1mbps is available for just 25 Euros ie Less than 1000 Rs.

  • Rajnish

    Acc to TRAI: Broadband limit is 256 KBps ie 256 Kilobytes per second which is equivalent to 256 x 8 = 2 MB or megabytes per second.

    Funny: 1 byte = 8 bits now. Now ISPs are claiming all benefits from Govt. for providing broadband and are providing 256 kbps and not 256 KBps.

    note diff b/w KB (kilo bytes) and kb (kilo bits).

    So actual speed we are getting is min 256 / 8 ie 32 KBps (32 kilo bytes per second) to max 64 KBps for 256 kbps connection. This is technical about broadband. So you understand how ISPs are fooling the indian govt also

    In europe now believe this ulimited 1 MBps and not 1mbps is available for just 25 Euros ie Less than 1000 Rs.

  • Rajnish

    Correction

    Acc to TRAI: Broadband limit is 256 KBps ie 256 Kilobytes per second which is equivalent to 256 x 8 = 2 mb or megabits per second.

    Funny: 1 byte = 8 bits now. Now ISPs are claiming all benefits from Govt. for providing broadband and are providing 256 kbps and not 256 KBps.

    note diff b/w KB (kilo bytes) and kb (kilo bits).

    So actual speed we are getting is min 256 / 8 ie 32 KBps (32 kilo bytes per second) to max 64 KBps for 256 kbps connection. This is technical about broadband. So you understand how ISPs are fooling the indian govt also

    In europe now believe this ulimited 1 MBps and not 1mbps is available for just 25 Euros ie Less than 1000 Rs.

  • Rajnish

    Correction

    Acc to TRAI: Broadband limit is 256 KBps ie 256 Kilobytes per second which is equivalent to 256 x 8 = 2 mb or megabits per second.

    Funny: 1 byte = 8 bits now. Now ISPs are claiming all benefits from Govt. for providing broadband and are providing 256 kbps and not 256 KBps.

    note diff b/w KB (kilo bytes) and kb (kilo bits).

    So actual speed we are getting is min 256 / 8 ie 32 KBps (32 kilo bytes per second) to max 64 KBps for 256 kbps connection. This is technical about broadband. So you understand how ISPs are fooling the indian govt also

    In europe now believe this ulimited 1 MBps and not 1mbps is available for just 25 Euros ie Less than 1000 Rs.

  • Great Blog. I checked it out before getting “broadband” in PimpaLe SaUdAgar.
    Check out my experience on my blog at http://chickenmanchow.blogspot.com

  • Great Blog. I checked it out before getting “broadband” in PimpaLe SaUdAgar.
    Check out my experience on my blog at http://chickenmanchow.blogspot.com

  • Hi,

    But if ISP is cheating to Govt rules regarding kbps speed ratio (128/8). Then can we complain again this or not? If yes then to whom? Any escalation process of this. I am also facing this problem of speed. Before 4 days back I got at least 40 to 60 kb speed of download but from last 4days it is becoming only 10 to 14 kb. I have 128 kbps unlimited plan of tata vsnl.

  • Hi,

    But if ISP is cheating to Govt rules regarding kbps speed ratio (128/8). Then can we complain again this or not? If yes then to whom? Any escalation process of this. I am also facing this problem of speed. Before 4 days back I got at least 40 to 60 kb speed of download but from last 4days it is becoming only 10 to 14 kb. I have 128 kbps unlimited plan of tata vsnl.

  • Sukhdeep

    These ISP are making fool of Govt. of India & people of India. I am using BSNL 2Mbps plan but getting an average of 512kbps & highest of 1Mbps. I have called customer care, complaints many times but of no use. They just come to my home check my cables & then go.

    Now i am fed-up & trying to satisfy @1Mbps.

    But i will surely complaint about these guys in TRAI if some give me contact to local branch @Patiala(Punjab) or @Chandigarh.

  • Sukhdeep

    These ISP are making fool of Govt. of India & people of India. I am using BSNL 2Mbps plan but getting an average of 512kbps & highest of 1Mbps. I have called customer care, complaints many times but of no use. They just come to my home check my cables & then go.

    Now i am fed-up & trying to satisfy @1Mbps.

    But i will surely complaint about these guys in TRAI if some give me contact to local branch @Patiala(Punjab) or @Chandigarh.