For some time I have been experiencing occasional "disconnects". When an Airtel engineer visited a while ago (primarily about another problem which turned out to be at their server) he checked the line stats, and remade the connections outside, improving the stats a lot, and leaving me to check the results.

It continued to happen, and I continued not to get around to calling Airtel again. Can't expect them to fix a problem I haven't told them about.

Over last few days, it became quite bad and I did log a call. They told me that someone would be with me by 6.30. A couple of guys turned up within an hour!

They were a bit hard work. They admitted to being trainees, and were somewhat flummoxed by Linux. Even after I booted Windows for them, I still had to check out carefully what they were doing. They were attempting to download and flash new firmware to the modem --- and I was quite surprised to see them using ftp. Anyone who can get their head around command-line ftp should be able to cope with linux!

The update failed, and, by this time, the senior guy (who came before) had arrived. I told him my theory, which was the modem was not dropping the link, but rebooting. He took all this in and replaced the modem. Last 24 hours it's been fine, although it needs a few days to be certain. It's an old modem, with a few scratches to the case, that he had in his bag. This doesn't bother me at all; better an old modem that works than a shiny new one that doesn't!

Airtel continues, for me, to be a big contrast with the BSNL way of doing things. It would have been days and weeks, not hours, with BSNL. Another difference is that, with Airtel, absolutely no cash changed hands!