TelecomTALK Nationwide Broadband Survey – BSNL & Airtel Emerge as Customer’s Choice in Wired Segment

On 11th January we initiated a nationwide broadband survey to find out India’s best broadband service provider (ISP). We are thankful for the overwhelming response from you all. As notified during the closure of the survey we are publishing the analytical report today. As the entire report would be lengthy when wired and wireless segments are combined, we chose to publish wired segment’s results first.

In total we received nearly 2000 responses out of which nearly 10% of the entries were spam. As the spam entries came from one single broadband operator (You Broadband) we could filter it out fairly easily! Read on to find out how we identified spam entries. We chose to consider ISPs which received at least 50 entries for naming them. This criteria was met by only Airtel, Beam Fiber, BSNL Broadband and MTNL. Rest of the ISPs were categorized as ‘Others’. There were nearly 50 such ISPs. With this we chose not to over emphasize on brands but to analyze other aspects which came out of the survey.

Findings of the Survey

Age with Service Provider

  1. Nearly 5% participants declared that they have been with the same ISP for over 10 years. Leading the race here was BSNL Broadband. The natural reason here would be the nationwide coverage and 10 years ago major market share on landlines was held by BSNL.

  2. Nearly 30% participants who use ‘Others’ as their ISP have completed 0 – 2 years with the provider. This can be attributed to the fact that India (particularly tier-II and tier-III cities) has seen a sharp rise in private players providing broadband services.

age_bb_svyConnection Speed Vs. Monthly Charges

While we could analyze Speed Vs. ISP we chose not to do that as nearly every ISP provides every speed range and prices vary. Some interesting facts which came up were:

  1. Nearly 45% users thrive on connection speed of 1-3 Mbps

  2. 30% users are still living with connection speed of less than 1 Mbps

  3. Less than 1% of the users enjoy a speed greater than 50 Mbps

  4. Over 60% users are paying in the range of Rs. 500 – Rs. 1000 per month for their connection. In this range the connection speed is essentially 0.5 Mbps to 5 Mbps

speed_vs_cost_bb_svyMonthly Usage

  1. 10% users said they use over 100 GB data per month

  2. 20% users use between 25-50 GB data per month

  3. 25% of users use up to 10-25 GB data per month

  4. Less than 2% of users use less than 1 GB data per month.

This is a clear indication that data consumption is ever growing!

Primary Usage

  1. 40% users use their Internet connection for email and social networking

  2. Another 40% users said they use internet for video streaming. This must be a good news for Google, Vimeo and others.

  3. Another significant usage turned out to be ‘work from home’ – 20% users reported that they work from home! So reliable connectivity has given rise to a new segment of people.

Fair Usage Policy (FUP) Limit

The FUP limit ranged from 0.5 GB to No FUP (18%) at all. MTNL is the prominent operator who do not impose a FUP limit on customers. A major chunk of 36% participants responded that their post FUP speed is <=512 kbps followed by 26% with post FUP speed of 512 kbps – 1 Mbps.

Downtime Concerns

Wired broadband in India is certainly reliable as less than 20% users face downtime of more than 5 times per month. Nearly 40% of users do not face any downtime at all!

Customer Care

We had asked participants to rate their operator on these fronts:

  1. Friendly and caring

  2. Technical knowledge

  3. Knowledge on Current offers

  4. Problems get resolved within said time

  5. Timely SMS alerts for fault resolution

  6. Support over Social Media

  7. Active Round the Clock

For all these headings responses were more or less the same, except for social media support. In a scale of 1 (Poor) to 5 (Excellent), all operators got ratings in equal percentage (~20% each).

In the case of social media support, nearly 40% participants rated their ISP’s support as ‘Poor’.

Happiness Rating

Finally, comes the happiness rating. Over 35% participants were happy with their ISP, and major share went to BSNL Broadband which was closely followed by Airtel. BSNL also had a significant share in no happiness category. :P

happiness_bb_svyWhy was You Broadband Eliminated?

Earlier last week when the survey was in progress, our alert readers alerted us on spam comments about You Broadband. When we checked our CMS for originating IP addresses, we discovered that the suspicion was right. On checking the timestamps of survey entries, nearly 10% of the entries for You Broadband had come at the same time. As we believe in fair practice, we decided to eliminate all the entries in the name of You Broadband. We want this to be a warning to anyone who tries to spam surveys.

You Broadband Spam


We believe this survey can play a role in choosing your next or new broadband service provider. It must be noted that in a past long term perspective, BSNL did not have a real competitor all over India. This could be a prime reason for BSNL emerging as a winner.

Disclaimer: Note that the above survey was taken by readers of this site, and there are lot more broadband users in this country. The views of people outside our readership might be different.

Survey results of Wireless segment would be published later this week.

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  • Ganesh February 10, 2014 3:46 pm

    You broadband is cheat like no other! Guys NEVER go for You BB! They will lie, cheat and be happy about it!

  • Ganesh February 10, 2014 3:45 pm

    Nice one! And congrats catching the You Crooks! I was using You Broadband for almost 6 months and faced issues after issues! No resolution in sight even after escalating to the highest nodal officer! Since it was prepaid they won’t refund the money if we disconnect the connection. Every day the connection would be cut from 4 hrs to 8 hours. Their connection is very intermittent. Even after threatening to disconnect, talking with escalation manager, nodal officer for hours I didn’t get any solution. The speed is also very poor. While I was buying, the website said 2Mbps speed Unlimited. After I bought the connection I got just 1.2 Mbps to 1.4Mbps, when asked they told like the speed was ‘Upto 2Mbps’ and I was getting the right speed. Then I threatened to disconnect. Then they increased the speed to 1.6 Mbps! Their response time is very slow. They say 24 hours. But even after 2 days, when we don’t get any call, the customer care will say like 24 working hours!! What kind of lame excuse is that!! My connection was disconnected due to some issue when I raised the complaint on Friday evening, they fixed it after 6 days!! This kept happening and I applied for disconnection.

  • jmishra February 5, 2014 9:53 pm

    i live in outskirts area of hyderabad where beam beam doesnt provides its services . Thats the the reason i will go for bsnl. I use 650 ULD plan 2 mbps (will be upgraded to 4 mbps when the bsnl guys wake up)

  • Raghu January 24, 2014 1:39 am

    the thing is BSNL have to introduce new plans for Business Users well with higher FUP for different plans or otherwise they have to have similar plans for Home and Business users which TT have to follow up and get it done as it is in the interest of all customers.Besides all recharges of mobile has to be updated in online from time to time and all recharges of e-mail ids like sancharnet should be made online. Hope Mr Chethan,Mr Tarun will get this done.

    • RAHUL MAURYA January 24, 2014 3:06 pm

      BSNL is not giving 512kbps post FUP speed as per TRAI regulations. So there should have to be a legal action against BSNL and other Players, who are not providing Post FUP speed @512 kbps.

  • vishal January 22, 2014 7:18 pm

    BSNL is leading as it has highest feasibility. Customers have to use as of not having other option.
    I heard more positive reviews about Airtel but couldn’t have it due to non feasibility. I desperately called Airtel officials to install at my house but couldn’t have it. Fed up with all thieves in market. Greedy big players have no intention to serve better service against what we pay.

    I have observing companies have started investing in mobile networks not in wired broadband. Area feasibility expansion growth seems stopped from 10 years.

  • Rudresh January 21, 2014 12:04 pm

    this random survey is just a mere joke and more partial. most of regional players got omited as many ppl don’t know about telecomtalk. i am a long term reader of tt and i am not grudging against it. but the fact is tt team has more ppl from southen states and a majority of readers, who are also satisfied bsnl user. the truth is bsnl is really good in south but in other places it is a utter shit compared to local players. few days back tt published a story that bsnl followed tt’s suggestions, bt that is limited to south circles only.

    these days telecom becomes stagnant and no growth. big thing is coming as rcom will grab a pie of 900mhz in 3metros and rcom’s cdma assests to be sold to reliance jio. jio can bring ‘no white spot’ wireless broadband across india with 800mhz band.

    all d best

    • Raghu January 24, 2014 1:35 am

      pl note with BSNL no one is satisfied and the customer service centre is the worst as When we go to CSC they do not how to behave with customers they talk very rough even
      to elderly people as well which is very bad and the customer care guys do not know anything properly and besides let me tell u one thing near my area and nside my house BSNL signals were not coming in my home i complained to them nearly 15-20 times and stayed on them for a year if they will solve my network problem and they came to my place so many times but could not solve the problem. So BSNL we are also not satisfied. They can grow but they do not want to i can say.

  • Weir January 21, 2014 4:11 am

    “People Satisfied with BSNL..”

    Now “people” Do you know internet?..other than FB and Twitter?

    Is there any freelancer…they must know what I am talking about!

    • S.Sudhakar January 21, 2014 3:11 pm

      Even I am satisfied with BSNL broadband. But I am really dissatisfied with the BSNL customer care under all segments !!!.

  • Kunal January 20, 2014 2:10 pm

    Hi editor ,
    As you have taken nationwide or recognised bb operators in your list , your survey is right as per that raw data.

    But not giving a way to small operators will urge these big names to have monopoly.

    Im using starnet , haryana from past 2 months . And believe me they are 100 x better than bsnl and airtel ( airtel has bb only in karnal , panipat and ambala).

    Starnet has his own website and you can check details.

    Yet I give some description about starnet.

    They charge – 1000 rs. (installation) + 1000rs. (refundable security).

    plans are – unlimited with no f.u.p
    plan charges ( includes all taxes and no hidden charges or costs)

    500 rs – 512 kbps

    750 rs – 780 kbps

    1000 – 1024 kbps

    Im on 500 rs. plan and gets on an average (60 kilo bytes / sec).

    I.e 3 – 4 mega byte in 1 minute .

    Ping is only 85 .

    The best thing is -:

    After 1 hour of call the technical person will come at your place and rectify the fault .

    Weekdays timings for service are 9-7

    And on sundays – 10 – 2

    I by my 2 months experience will grade this operater on scale .


    • Tarun January 20, 2014 2:26 pm

      Noted : !

  • Swaroop January 20, 2014 1:05 pm

    Why is reliance broadband not in the list?

    • Pratap Madgulkar January 20, 2014 4:07 pm

      @swaroop – same question from my end

      I am using reliance from long time, right now with plan 550(total 616/-) 1MBPS without any FUP .

      customer service looks better and people are redy to help us , even though their website is one of the worst (forgot username / pass word not working) , bill payment take only 10 digits where you have 12 digit CAN number .

      apart from this actual internet service is good with zero downtime . (last 12 months no issue)

    • Chethan S January 20, 2014 4:26 pm

      We had a field to select Reliance Broadband during the survey. As surprising it might sound, we did not receive more than 50 entries from Reliance users. So we had to club the entries under ‘Others’.

      • Khaleel January 21, 2014 10:19 am

        Their plans seems to be good. But their availability is poor. And they are not yet willing to expand. When I submitted an enquiry for wireline at Kochi, the lady who called me was trying to sell a USB dongle!

  • Kanaga Deepan N January 20, 2014 11:54 am

    BSNL emerging as a winner in Wireline BB services is because, for people in Tier-III towns (like my town Sivakasi), there is NO OTHER OPTION. I am using BSNL Wimax which doesn’t work for more than 10 days a month. But still its better as BSNL BB has more than 15 days down time a month. Its MONOPOLY of BSNL that is hurting people in small towns. BSNL has good BB plans only in parts of cities where there is strong competition, like say BEAM in Hyderabad.

    BSNL and AirHELL is the reason for India being a BroadBand SLUM country… Here ridiculously slow 512kbps is so called BB speed and still BSNL and AirHELL has 256 kbps and less speed after FUP. So they should sell their ADSL services saying NARROWBAND services only.

    Wireless is different thing. It depends on Spectrum and our greedy Govt has given just 5MHz for 3G, which is very very low and we can’t expect plans without FUP. But for wireline, these FUP is ridiculous. All these AirHELL and Bull Sh!t N!gam Ltd (BSNL) charges heavy and gives TINY data allowance and ridiculous post FUP speed.

    In all other countries FUP is seen in wireless segment and NOT in wireline. Let us see, for how many decades BSNL and AirHELL will be successful in keeping India as a BB SLUM country…

    • rahul maurya January 20, 2014 12:53 pm

      Dear Admin,
      I request you to please publish an article about the Post Fup Speed as BSNL is not giving 512kbps post FUP speed as per TRAI regulations. So there should have to be a legal action against BSNL and other Players, who are not providing Post FUP speed @512 kbps. Please Sir I request you.

      • S.Sudhakar January 20, 2014 2:51 pm

        Mention the place first.

        Check the maximum circuit speed of your connection in the modem console.

        Stop all background softwares and then mention the speed.

        I am getting more than 60 KB/s (little below 512 Kbps) in the BSNL wired broadband after the main data usage limit in the Rs.900 plan. I am experiencing thus in Tiruchengode, Namakkal district TAMILNADU.

        • rahul maurya January 20, 2014 5:26 pm

          Sir I am from Kanpur. and this is the link of the bsnl plans of 525 and 650 –

          • S.Sudhakar January 21, 2014 9:52 am

            Type ans enter the modem console with the login details. Check the maximum link speed there.

        • Pranajit January 20, 2014 6:54 pm

          they are talking about minimum speed up gradation of BB to 512 kbps irrespective of plan as per recent TRAI mandate.

          • rahul maurya January 21, 2014 8:31 am

            They why they are selling their plan’s name as broadband they should name it as GPRS or other plan.