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Limited Browsing Sucks

Imagine your height is 5 feet 7 inches and you have to stay in a room and the diagonal length of the room is 5 feet, similar to the cells of Kalapani. How do you sleep? We don’t have very good Internet connections here is India. Where in some countries people have right to good Internet connection, here a so said up to 512 kbps connection works like 176 kbps connection. And see the plans – a limited plan allows you monthly download of just 500 MB to 2.5 GB (There are few plans which allow you around 5 GB of downloads, but the price is more that an unlimited connection!). This is how browsing is like hell here.

Internet Browsing has become an intimate part of our life. I do a lot of stuff on Internet, I check emails, browse social networks like Facebook, Orkut, read many blogs (including some design blogs like Web Designer Depot, Smashing Magazine etc. which are having too of images to inspire us), Twitter, Flickr (I have a weakness to photography, however at this point I only own a mobile phone with 3.2 MP camera (Sony Ericsson K790i)). Well, all these access website means a lot of downloads to your PC. I checked my bandwidth usage statistics and found that my daily use of download bandwidth falls between 500 MB to 1.25 GB. And it’s the age of P2P (yes, I mean BitTorrent). If I download anything using this, then a lot of bandwidth to add in my statistics. You can imagine how difficult it would be to stay within limit.

I stay in a small city of India, where I have access to Internet, but the service is poor. There is no Airtel broadband available here (which I think best in India, I learned from my past experience, when I was staying in Chennai). Here at Cuttack I have to use BSNL, which is comparatively good among all available ISPs. But it’s not reliable. In other cities it might be reliable, but not in Cuttack. Bhubaneswar is the nearest city of Cuttack (just 25 KMs) and the state capital of Orissa. Friends from that city says that BSNL has improved and no problem with their connections. Also, the road which goes near my home is now under build. And the cables which are below the ground breaks down due to the work. When the cables broke down for the first time, all telephones in my area gone dead. When we inquired, the people at BSNL said it may take a month to fix all them. I just got surprised and I decided to take a secondary connection and applied for Ortel.

I decided to use Ortel’s unlimited plan, because I was not sure about the fate of BSNL connection. And just few hours after I applied for Ortel, my BSNL connection started working. I goes well in that month (November 2009). So I decided to change the Ortel plan to a limited plan, which costs around 200 rupees. As I am using Ortel for few bytes, why should I pay 699 for a unlimited plan? So I decided to change the plan to limited (Rs 200/mo) plan. When I went to their office and applied to change the plan, they said: “You have not completed a month with us, so your records are not set with us, so we can’t degrade your plan, but we can upgrade your plan without any problem.”. So I waited for the bill, also I was not using that connection. When I got the bill at the mid of December, I went to their office to change the plan. They said to change the plan you need to pay Rs 100 as fee. I know this is simply bullshit, but I didn’t have any other option. Not sure whether it’s needed while upgrade. Also I came to know that they don’t have limited 200 plan in Cuttack. So I need to choose limited 325 which comes with 1.25 GB free download as the lowest priced plan. Also, they said it’s only possible to change the plan at the midnight of first day of the month, but if your upgrading then they can change it right away!

So my plan was going to turn to a limited one when the world celebrating new year. Just two days before that my BSNL connection got dead. We found two other phones in the neighbor also got dead. We tried to give complain in the traditional way, by calling 198 from another phone. I used Ortel for two days as an unlimited plan, but when I entered into new year, I tried to being a makhichus while using the bandwidth. I stopped visiting the websites I normally do. I changed auto update feature of few applications. For sometime I disabled images in my Firefox browser. I set alarm to know when my download of the month crosses 1000 MB. Still I noticed that I was using more that 70 MB in checking my emails and using some essential websites (not bandwidth hungry) everyday. And the experience to be in limit is difficult to explain. This was for the first time I was using Internet within limit and that’s also for more than 5 days. So I when I got my BSNL connection back to work, I have crossed around 600 MB limit. And just after few hours I started using unlimited connection, the limit alarm started to roar.

I was also seen some people (who use a limited plan) wonder and complain about the extra bytes downloaded. Once Debasish wrote:

India TV Breaking News – mehnga pada internet se video download
dekhiye kaise yeah insaan aaj karod pati se roadpati ho gaya sirf internet se asleel video download karte karte
sirf aaur sirf hamare channel par aaj rat 1 baje ke baad
kuny ke 1 baje ke baad kamara free download suru hota hai
india tv best comedy news ever

So, here are some tips to reduce downloads, if you are using an limited connection.

  • Install a good antivirus and spyware.
  • Visit only those websites you really need to.
  • Don’t visit any link shared by anyone.
  • Don’t visit social networking websites, YouTube, Flickr, Porn websites etc.
  • Disable images in Firefox.
  • Don’t use IE.
  • Fuck all the tips above (excluding the one just above it) and get an ulimited connection.

Where Impatience is the New Life (love that Airtel ad) why should we stick to those limited plans?

    Image credit: Fickr – KapungoSuck It and See

    By Debiprasad

    I am a software developer, Staying and working from my home town Cuttack, Orissa, India.

    5 replies on “Limited Browsing Sucks”

    It depends on the person who uses net. There are lot of people who just want to check their mails(that also not so frequently).
    Also for the people who spend the day time in office(and have access to net in office), limited connection is really useful.

    “There is no Airtel broadband available here (which I think best in India,” Strongly agree with this… Airtel Broadband is the best in India.

    “I set alarm to know when my download of the month crosses 1000 MB ” . Which software u use for this?

    Yes, Rs 750 + tax for unlimited 256 kbps. Choose Airtel unlimited, and if that’s not available at your place, then choose BSNL unlimited. It’s improving itself now. And don’t choose limited BSNL plan, as I said Limited Plans Sucks. My neighbor recently got a limited connection and they are not power users. And they have downloaded around 2 GB in one month and the bill is double of the unlimited plan.

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