Monday, August 15, 2011

Internet Access In Emerging India

Today the whole India is celebrating the independence day. To be an Indian we are very proud for achieving a tremendous growth in a short period after getting freedom from British rule. The ISRO, DRDO etc are some of the institutions in the front line that we can be proud of. It was during the 2008 global recession, India came to the limelight for its strong economic policies. The whole world is focused on India since it is the future global power.
But inside, the things are not so glamorous. There are lots of  food grains rotting while millions of its own citizens are starving. Lots of corruption, black money, tax evasion even by celebrities and so on. The list is too large. If you read Aravind Adiga's White Tiger, you will get a some what picture of what is happening in rural India.
I write this article after reading an article : India hungry for everyday Internet access. The article deals with the poor internet penetration in rural India while lots has to use it.

The above article says about a typical Indian youth, Srishti Sharma, 18,who has to face hurdles in accessing the internet. But I also have a story of my own. Read this:

I had my college education in College of Engineering Attingal. During my college studies, I want an internet connection. I am living in rural area. At that time the only service provider who gives internet connection to the rural area was BSNL. So I decided to take a BSNL broadband connection. So I went to the nearest telecom exchange at Chenkal. One of the staff who must be Junior Telecom Officer(JTO) told me that broadband connection is given only when there is a minimum of 12 applicants. So I inquired in my locality about the number of people who may take internet connection. But to my surprise,  all those who have PC is willing to take internet connection, but they are not willing to go through any hurdles in getting an internet connection. You may wonder what is the hurdle behind this. You will see.
I have however collected 6 people who were willing to take internet connection at any cost. But for our purpose we require 6 more. So I asked JTO for other options. He told me that there is also a high speed internet service which is unlimited and you have to pay only 250 rupees per month. The terms - High speed, Unlimited, Rs 250 changed my mind instantly. So I wrote an application and gave it to him with in a shart duration. But he rejected it saying that the application must be given to Neyyatinkara Telecom exchange and not in Chenkal exchange. So I set out to Neyyatinkara and meet the staff there and gave the application. He gave me a form and asked me to fill and enclose a DD of Rs 500/- from nationalized bank. See the hurdles.
I did what he told me. He gave me a print out and told me to hand over the photocopy of the printout to the Chenkal exchange. I did so and I got the connection. The speed of the connection is pathetic. Only two days a month, the speed will rise above 10 Kbps. At other time well below 5 Kbps. (Remember - high speed - unlimited - Rs 350 per month). These were not the only hurdles. Then comes the billing trouble(I am not describing it here because they promised me that there will be no manual faults from them and they are keeping it).
But today, if I am in such a situation, I just go to the nearest shop where we can take the mobile SIM, and an amount nearly Rs 2000 and will get a 3G module by IDEA company which is portable and pan India but will have to pay roaming charges if goes out of state, but faster than broadband and a monthly charge of Rs 110/-. While private firms are offering hurdle free service than state sponsored one, why should I not opt for private service?

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