The reliability increased after the removal of the hug hanging from the tree wrapped in a polythene. But the latest problem is the new packages. SIFY guys sure has some of the worst marketing guys with extremely low common sense. Check their packages:

Earlier it was 800 bucks for a 32 Kbps line with 1 GB data limit.
(remember itís called broadband)
They changed it to:
800 bucks for 1 GB shared connection.

Now whatís shared connection?
Nothing on the package page: http://broadband.sify.com/master_pricelist.html

I ask my area representative. He told me:
a 64 kbps line divided between 2 guys.
that means, minimum 32 kbps line... Good enough for me.

I ask my city representative. He told me:
a 64 kbps line divided between 4 guys.
that means, minimum 16 kbps line... pathetic but should work looking at the probability of the number of people online at 1 time.

I call the call center, and the people there told me!
a 32 kbps line divided between 10 people.
Yeah, thats 10 PEOPLE for a 32 kbps line. For god sake, 3.2 kbps is the worst possibility. Thatís what I get for 800 bucks that too with a 1 GB limit. Looks like I was better off a month back. Internet is supposed to get cheaper in the future or more expensive?

In the end I sent a mail to the customer care, and I just got a reply asking my user id. Now thats weird. I want to know the details of the package that they dont disclose on the package page and they want is my user id? what kinda people am I dealing with?

and consider this...

I am paying 800 bucks for 1 GB data transfer limit shared connection...
they have another package for 1000 bucks that gives me unlimited data transfer limit on the same shared connection.

Does this sh*t make sense? pay 200 bucks extra for unlimited data transfer? They make a mess for people like me who needs net for work by giving unlimited data transfer capability for people who use net for downloading pron for so cheap. Since their work (whatever we can call downloading stuff for no suitable purpose) is not time dependent, people like me suffer.

My basic requirement is 1 GB data transfer limit genuine 64/128 kbps connection. I donít have any direct package that provide me this. Either I suffer the pathetic shared connection that sify provides me, or I go for 2 packages of 128 kbps of 750 megs costing a total of Rs. 3600, which does not make sense in comparision to a 256 kbps 1 GB connection worth Rs. 2500. So the so called broadband cost me 2.5 rupees per megabyte.

I am seriously not getting the so called Feel Good factor. India is supposed to be the IT super highway. Then why are we supposed to pay a premium for so called broadband. I have noticed, anything that is not dial-up is considered (by the suppliers) broadband. If 3.2 kbps connection is broadband, I feel pity on the marketing teams of Sify Broadband. I seriously would pay anything to have an alternative option here in Panchkula. Dishnet DSL was a bit expensive, but it had decent packages atleast.

Original Review
I am really pissed off today. This post is going to be about the supposedly Indiaís leading broadband provider to home customers: Sify Broadband. I am pissed off becoz I was offline since the last 26 hours coz they had some problem in the network due to unseasonal rains that took place yesterday.

So, let me start talking about it step by step! Not many steps though as I am damn pissed off.

Installation:
They charge 3500 bucks for the installation. What I get in that amount. A cable wire coming from a pole 100 meters from my home. They had a switch in between till today hanging on a tree in a polythene bag. The switch was placed because of the distance between the pole and my home. But the problem is that the switch box present in the polythene bag was floating in water after yesterdayís rain. Nope, it was not the routine heavy showers from the rainy season. It was a non seasonal rain (hardly half a centimeter in technical terminology). And it actually killed the internet in the entire region of Panchkula or thatís what they wanted me to believe. So I was offline for more than 24 hours for that. I had to give the Sify guys a new polythene bag so that they could cover the connector that replaced the hub with. Incredible. They removed the hub for the fear of rains and replaced it with a connector, which fortunately does not make my net much slower...

To quote from their brochure...

Time to forget your old, slow dial-ups and unpredictable cable internet.

Now, someone from the Sify Broadband please explain to me what is the difference between what I have and what a normal cable guy provide me with. In fact the old cable guy I had, had a box for the switch leading the net cable to my home.
Now the power problems. I have power backup at home. I got an inverter especially for the home job I currently have. But what the heck. The cable network disconnects at every power cut that takes place. Fortunately, I donít have that many power cuts as of now in the area I am in. But considering this is winters, I actually fear the summers. Boy, I am gonna fight over this with the Sify guys for sure. This problem is actually not that funny as it sounds like. I donít believe even dial-up users have to face this problem!
Also, I would like to mention. Though they do have packages for exclusive night surfing, they donít have any one to handle complaints after 7 pm to I believe 10 am .

Packages:
Of course, like all my earlier net connections they also do not provide me with an unlimited data transfer package. In fact the rates are comparatively better than my old cable guy. But the problem is the common sense they applied behind the packages. I am basically a guy whose official bandwidth requirement is around a gig a month. Now they do not have a gig Meg package for either 64 Kbps nor 128 Kbps connection. So either I take a 32 Kbps connection or a 256 Kbps one. Darn idiotic marketing guys. Though on the better side, they have a cheap package that provides free surfing on Sundays. Small mercies.

Connectivity:
This is perhaps the only saving grace. When it works, it works well. But it does not work that reliably.
At least in the areas I am stuck at!

My best experience yet has been with Bharti Touchtel DSL. Cheaper installation. Darn good reliability. Underground cable network. And you get an alternate telephone connection...
More on that some other day!