Airtel Broadband Bittorrent Throttling

Fact 1: I am experiencing slow speeds (of the order of 5kBps to 32kBps) on my Airtel 1Mbps connection. No, before you state it…my connection does not have any Fair Usage Policies. The customer care agents are unaware of such practices. They will find some reason or the other to “get the monkey off their backs” aka stop conversing with you.

Fact 2: This in turn means that Airtel is doing some sort of bittorrent throttling activities. The conventional tests will reveal that no form of blocking is done by the ISP.

Fact 3: Only a small share of the users seem to be affected by this throttling activity of the ISP. The rest blame it on the low number of seeds / peers and continue with their day-to-day life.

Fact 4: I am done with this connection, which makes me wait for a week for downloading 2.36GB. I will be reverting back to the good old H500 plan from BSNL Broadband. I will get 2Mbps and unlimited downloads everyday from 2am to 8am.

Why am I doing this? This is the best way to teach them a lesson when they exhibit corporate greed. I will spend my hard-earned savings on an ISP that does not throttle bittorrent speeds. Eminent experts (primarily Mathew Carley, the brainchild behind Hayai Broadband) have already commented on the availability of excessive and additional bandwidth with airtel. Yet the primary intention of this ISP is to milk money from the unsuspecting customers. One good example of this fact is the drastic reduction in the available speeds to 256kbps when you reach the Fair Usage Policy limits sets by the company. What good can 256kbps do during such trialing times?

Edit: I just noticed that they have managed to capture the attention of Vuze. Check out their wiki post.

Update (21/01/2011): Ever since my speeds were downgraded to 1Mbps, they have stopped throttling the bittorent downloads. I guess they now throttle only those who are in broadband plans that have speeds 2Mbps and above.

Update (23/01/2011): My earlier hypothesis was wrong. They are indeed throttling the torrent speeds to a maximum of 60 kBps. The throttling is effective from 10:30am to 12:00am everyday. If you wish to download anything via torrents on your airtel broadband, it will be wiser to do so from 12am to 10:30am (because they uncap the throttling mechanisms during this time frame).

My View About the Prevalent Broadband Situation In India

Here is an excerpt from one of my posts, which I had composed for India Broadband Forum:

One thing that I have learned to live with (especially in this country), is not to compare the services offered by the respective ISPs. The quality of service varies wildly and we are basically at the mercy of the officials. This is true for both government based as well as private operators. Many people will blame BSNL; they will cite the “BSNL babus” as lazy and unproductive lot! However, I have also come across certain “agents” of private ISPs, who charge unsuspecting customers for the length of wiring included while giving the BB connection!

The only way to wriggle out and survive in this situation is to take intelligent decisions. Make good use of the common sense and question the authorities, if you have any doubts.

I was a devout subscriber of BSNL Broadband since March 2005. Lately, I am with Airtel Broadband. Why? I learnt that Airtel is offering 1Mbps UL for just 499/- in my state. Yes, there is a FUP policy of 5GB. The FUP (fair usage policy) of Airtel works in wonderful manners. They penalize only those who have made it their life’s aim to download the entire internet! I also learnt that even though Airtel touts 5GB, 10GB as the FUP, the default FUP of all plans is 100GB. I made certain phone calls and yes, I couldn’t believe my ears. Within a day or two a shining new modem from Airtel was installed at my premises.

Right now, I am enjoying 2 Mbps UL from Airtel Broadband. They upgraded my 1 Mbps to 2 Mbps – free of cost. I am not sure of the revised FUP. But, I find that I am not penalized, when the entire nation is crying foul over the practices of this particular ISP!

For me, Airtel is the best out there. It does not necessarily mean that everyone must opt for the services of Airtel. Members will not find me citing Airtel’s services as the next holy grail too. However, it is better to keep a sharp look out for the plans offered by the competing ISPs. You might never know when you might strike gold!

PS: I still have that trusty old BSNL connection with me. 🙂

Airtel Broadband Speeds Upgraded. But …

I realize that Airtel has finally upgraded my broadband speeds for free. The default speed associated with the plan was 1Mbps. Right now, I am enjoying 2Mbps. Imagine the shock when you guys (and gals) realize that I am virtually enjoying 2Mbps in India for just 499 INR.

However, there is a problem. I am unaware of the new FUP (fair usage policy). The default FUP was 5GB (and this was never implemented on my connection). Right now, I do not have any notions regarding the revised FUP.

Contacting the customer care proved futile (and that was expected).

Cheated by Airtel Broadband Services!

Of lately, I heard about certain innovative plans from Airtel Broadband. I liked the Combo 499 plan which offered 1mbps UL with a fair usage policy of 5GB after which the speeds will be reduced to 256kbps. Since I am not an avid downloader, the plan seemed perfect for me.

By 22nd May 2010, Airtel officials toured my house and installed the broadband connection. It came with an Airtel land line too, which had 200/- free airtel to airtel calls – every month.

Today (a.k.a on 25th May 2010) I receive a phone call from Airtel officials stating that my speed has been reduced to 512kbps from 1mbps. They were saying that the sales officials made a “mistake” by filling me up with the wrong plan details.

Immediately after the phone call, I checked my speeds. They had already reduced it to 512kbps. Until this afternoon, I was enjoying 1mbps.

I contacted the customer care and according to them, the speed of Combo 499 plan has been reduced to 512kbps but only for the new customers who opted for the connection on and after 24th May 2010.

As per the records held by Airtel, my connection was activated by 21st May 2010.

I would like to point out that I had opted for an additional broadband connection from Airtel solely because of the 1mbps speeds for 499/-. I am already using a 512kbps plan from BSNL Broadband.

The customer care officials have asked me to wait for 24 hours. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the time-being.

Needless to state, but I am shocked and dismayed at this happening. 😦

Update 1 (26/05/2010) – Someone from Airtel BB team just called me. After hearing my story, they said that they would give a request to upgrade the speed back to 1mbps. Will have to wait until something or the other occurs..

Update 2 (27/05/2010) – This was a day of mixed reactions. I contacted some of the senior officials in the tech and sales department. They understood my situation and assured me that the speeds would be upgraded back to 1mbps considering this as a “commitment issue”. However, I did receive some phone calls from some other officials stating that nothing can be done at the moment and that I can disconnect the services or continue with the 512kbps UL.

Update 3 (28/05/2010) – Got a call from Airtel BB wing in the evening. They assured me that my speeds would be reinstated to 1mbps by 05/06/2010 (the next billing cycle). Only time will tell if they will keep their word.

Update 4 (03/06/2010) – I am getting numerous calls from senior officials. Everyone of them are saying the same – your speed will be reinstated to 1Mbps by 5th June. Just two more days to go.

Update 5 (06/06/2010) – Airtel kept their word. My speeds were reinstated to 1Mbps.

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