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:: Monday, January 24, 2005 ::


It must be more than a month ago since I bought home a shiny new computer. Naturally the next thing to do with it was to plug it into the internet and start zipping on the information highway. 'Zipping', it turned out was not exactly the word. Expecting to spend lot of time online, I decided that I should go for a broadband connection. And since I did not have a landline, there was no question of getting a temporary dial up connection or making any other kind of stop-gap arrangement.

So I decided and thought of calling a few companies that offer broadband internet connection. I started with airtel, since they had many packages to choose from and I could go for the one that suits me well. And a friend had said that the speeds are good. So I call them, and they say a sales person will get in touch with me in a day's time. 3-4 days pass by and there is no response. I call again and then there is a new promise for the next day. Another 3-4 days pass by. Finally as I had given up on them, someone calls up and says that they don’t have facilities where I live.

Next I hear about bsnl's broadband services. No matter how much I try, there is no way to figure out whom to approach or what number to call. I give up.

There was a lull period when I got busy and more or less forgot about it.

Then came Tata Indicom who never bothered to respond. I called them thrice. Finally someone called back and said they can give me a connection. Wowee! After some desperation it seemed like a favor. I did not care for the fact that their tariff plans nowhere suited my needs and they asked bomb of a money as installation charges - non refundable. And I agreed - 'let me just get something in the first place, even if it is nonsense'. And then came the catch - they needed anything like 15 days lead time to come and install it! Well, thank you. Sometimes I get government jobs done faster!

I continue hunting. I call Sify, Hathway and Reliance. They all promised to get back to me within 24 hours. I wonder if broadband companies have a stretched perspective of time! The 24 hours never seemed to happen! After waiting long enough for each of them, I call them back only to get the good old response - sorry, sir! We don’t have facilities in your area! I started feeling that I may be living in a forest. Did anyone trick me to believe that I live in one of the old and well off localities of Bangalore? Was that all a dream? May be!

Sometime in the meanwhile, bsnl had announced broadband services kick off(again) and now at least they had published their call center number. There I see a ray of hope and call them - only to get engage tone forever. Very short-lived ray of hope!

Finally I have decided to buy a phone line and go for a dial-up connection, and one of the service providers have promised a quick action. Will I find some data trickling down into my comp in the days to come? Is there some hope left? Time alone can tell..

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