Our onboarding Experience with Bharat Fiber - BSNL FTTH - The Troubles We Faced
Many readers asked us for a review of BSNL FTTH, but unlike private broadband connections, obtaining a BSNL connection is not easy. One needs to have patience followed by a willingness to spend some time at the CSC, but then I felt it is okay and decided to take it up, as it is our BSNL(maybe they take this feeling for granted). In my quest to try out the Bharat Fibre experience, below is part 1 of my attempts to apply for a connection online. (I hate to say this, but no information is clear, crisp or easy for a general customer to apply for the service online)
Timeline of events:
7 July - Applying for the FTTH Service online
Claims of Online Onboarding: No, we don't think it works, at least in my experience
How to apply is the Question? Many random web pages, nothing proper, nothing clear. Browsing through the BSNL website means taking up the task of solving a maze. You navigate through a link, come across something, click something and land somewhere else. Even after landing on a specific page, the certainty of the intended functionality of that particular page/portal is a mystery.
Listed above all the URLs where BSNL facilitates customers to apply for FTTH connection online. I tried to apply for the connection via the main navigation (given below) which is direct from the bsnl main page.
The Main page of bsnl.co.in >Land Line & Data > FTTH Tariff > Register online > navigates to self onboarding page.
Seeing the claims of self onboarding portal on the main page, I have taken time to fill the entire online Application, and the portal even gave an option in the end to choose the desired number followed by a receipt of the same. So far, so good.
- Registered the connection online
- Got a receipt for the same mentioning the preferred number and CAF Sequence number.
As there is no email or SMS confirmation, I doubted if this portal works or the functionality got impaired just after the receipt generation. Waited a week, there is no call or any communication of acknowledgement from BSNL.
Note: I'm aware of the prevailing situations and neither hurried nor expecting quick responses from BSNL. It is just that I'm looking for a confirmation of my application/connection.
Called the toll-free number given on the same portal, they asked to wait, the executive mumbled for a minute and finally said, sir, please wait you will get a call from the relevant team. Okay.
During these days of my waiting to hear back from BSNL, I also tried applying for the connection via URL 2, with just a hope.
21 July - Visiting the nearest BSNL CSC [7 July -21 July]
Having received no confirmation or acknowledgement even after waiting a few more days, I decided to visit the nearest BSNL CSC (Mangalagiri/Amaravati). Explained everything to the concerned executive, and he clearly informed me that they hadn't received any online application for FTTH.
I wasn't shocked, mixed feelings, because this is expected.
Cross checking happened with the FTTH concerned officers and on their application portals. They couldn't find anything related to the number I opted or regarding my online Application.
These are young executives, and they tried their best to help me with my online Application. But when the system is flawed, what else can they do?
I said, no issues, can we proceed with the traditional way of Application?
BSNL Executive: Sir, before we proceed, we need to check if we can provision FTTH in your area with the respective team. Sure, they checked, and yes, it is feasible (which I'm already aware). They gave me the number of Sree Broadband franchise personnel and asked me to speak with him and check the availability of ONT so that they can confirm if ONT security deposit needs to be collected or not.
I was surprised, sure thing, and ... quickly called the franchise personnel.
Conversation with the Franchise Personnel:
The franchise personnel asked when, where? Also, he informed me that the connection would be delayed due to the lockdown for which I completely agreed and said it is okay even if it takes a month or two. I'm not in a hurry. The franchise personnel also informed me about the two important points at the time of installation.
- Installation charges of Rs.1500
- ONT devices are not available on rental, and you need to buy it upfront at Rs.3700 (These are devices from BSNL only)
I was like Woah! Sure, I would pay at the time of installation.
Cont. conversation with BSNL Executive:
Updated them about the pricing structure and everything I discussed with the franchise personnel. It looks like even they are shocked and surprised.
Yeah, filled the CAF in person, but wait, I have opted (blocked) the number and expecting the same. The executive tried to help me with the number, but couldn't.
Me: It's okay, pick any number and assign it.
- Security deposit for the FTTH base plan picked - Done.
- Sir, as you are buying ONT upfront, there are no charges for it, but installation charges of Rs.500 will be levied in your first-month bill.
Now, all this is happening in daylight, and I was again surprised.
What are the installation charges which the franchise personnel asked? Sir, those may be for laying fibre to your home or franchise charges.
I paid the security deposit, took the receipt, and left the place asking myself, is this 'BHARAT FIBRE'?
I'm yet to get my connection installed, but once I get some acquaintance with the service, I will share my experience in part 2.
I grew up using the internet on BSNL Dial-up, followed by ADSL (three years) and I'm a happy customer. The BSNL executives used to be always responsive to any fault complaints, and I hardly faced any downtime during my tenure with BSNL. But it now looks like this franchise model where they have outsourced the installation and services to the third parties is in a big way hurting the service pricing and quality. It appears that these third parties are busy making business which BSNL is not known for. Why will they be concerned about connections of BSNL when they have their own brand connections to manage?
Take away pointers:
- Online Application doesn't work (at least in my case)
- If so, which URL works? I'm not sure as I was not successful in the online way. (at least in my case with 2 URLs)
- The number opted by a customer online goes into a black hole. The executive too, cannot find it to assign it to you later.
- If BSNL manages the service and installation, you may be in safe hands with whatever costs/pricing structure mentioned, but if a franchise is involved, you may need to get ready to pay more.
- How can a general customer pay upfront Rs.7000 (6000+1000 first month bill) approximately just to avail an FTTH service from BSNL with a base plan? What if customers are unhappy with the services and want to surrender the connection? Will the ONT purchased upfront be taken back, and the customer is refunded on a pro-rata basis? I couldn't find proper information for these or at least regarding the ONT charges anywhere.
On one side, the Government encourages WFH, and on the other side franchises opted by BSNL are on another spree. With such hefty price tag (after summation of payments at different levels) who would even opt for BSNL FTTH?
-- Hoping to have a good experience to share with you all in part 2
29 July : Received a call at 4:43pm for confirming my Bharat Fiber connection applied via online route.
Here is Puducherry, I got my connection in under 48 Hours of booking. It's better to contact your Local cable operator for the connection.
Very detailed info regarding the process, waiting for part 2
Very detailed article regarding the process, Waiting for part 2
Same I am too puducherry..
Of course I agree it is tiring experience.. but you need to raise your voice.. until u do you won't get.. even lco my tried to loot me for cable though pole is opposite to my house not even 20 m from home to pole he demanded 1300.. I complained to SDE FFTH.. He said..thanks for bringing it to my attention.. I will warn him.. you don't pay single penny just tell him I said to give connection like that.. he did his work silently and went.. though murmured something.. who cares😂😂😂 my work is done without bribe.. that's all
Moreover I paid my first bill just 799+500+500-250=1599 plus 2.6 k for syrotech ont which I bought myself from local market
So it is upto the consumer to fight and get what he needed. Rather than complaining the system. Note I applied only online.. no physical form plus I got connection within 14 days. (In month of May 2020 due to lockdown issues). visit csc once just to complain lco though did it in phone SDE was so kind for sake of courtesy I went.
In continuation to above, I got the same number I blocked while booking online
Same Experience 😂 bro 2 days ago I got my fibre installed except for I paid 5000 instead.
@biswadeepmondal seems like it's been weeks and you still dont have an internet connection.
When I moved to Bangalore from Chennai, I just went to ACT website and entered the house address to check the feasibility for a connection. Within 15-30 mins got a call from their local engineer for installation. I just checked for feasibility, hadn't even applied for a new connection till then.
I told him to contact after 1 week when I reach Bangalore. As told he contacted me and came to the house. Within 10 mins application form was filled by him on his mobile, photos taken for document proofs. Since it was already 7 pm in the evening, he said installation will be done by next day morning. As told that also happened. Installation was free, router was free. Within 24 hrs I had a 100 Mbps fibre connection up and running. I had to just pay 3 months bill while applying the connection. I pay the bill quarterly. No issues with the connection as well. Even if there's an issue they resolve it within 2-3 hrs of raising a ticket on their app.
ACT service was quick and hassle free. Before this I was fed up of nonsense from Airtel broadband giving 24 Mbps and before that BSNL ADSL giving 4 Mbps. Both airtel and bsnl costed the same with landline as well.
If the customer service at BSNL is like what you have mentioned, no wonder they are making loss and on the verge of being shutdown. Gone are the days when BSNL had complete monopoly over the market.
I'm from Hubballi, Karnataka. I was a BSNL Broadband user for 8 years, now recently shifted to BSNL FTTH also known as Bharat Fiber.
Even I faced exactly same thing, I tried booking online it didn't work at all, then I went to BSNL office. I had booked my connection on March 12th but after that we got lockdown and I was totally fine with the delay as I know there's no way of working in lockdown.
Later once the lockdown was open, then I called the office person, they said they don't handle it and gave me a number of the franchise person, I called him everyday, he gave one or another reason every single day. After 2 month or so, I lost my patience, then through some heated conversations with BSNL officials, I got another number of a senior officer. Well, I called the officer at 7pm and told him about all the situation and asked him if I can get my connection or not, if the connection gets more delayed then I'm gonna switch over to some other service provider.
For my surprise at 8pm I got a call from the franchise person saying "Sir, I'm near your house, if you can come out and let us know which is your house, we'll do the cabling part". I was blown out by the quick response after that one single call to the officer.
But later I payed all the charges, which I still think is way too much because I work in a IT company in Bangalore, and I've Hathway internet connection in my Bangalore house and I hardly paid 1000 rupees which included one month tarrif as well.
Any ways, I got my connection around June 12th I believe. I had opted for 600GB FUP plan. Second month of the connection which is the current month July, on 10th July my FUP data got over, then I grew suspicious how can I exhaust 600GB of data and that too in 10 days. Then I just checked my internet usage it had around 100GB of download data, which is fine because I stream HD content on multiple devices. But I had around 460GB+ upload usage, which is insane, I don't even upload any content online, the maximum uploads are my social media posts.
Just to be sure, I checked with my friends who had Bharat Fiber connection in my city and my neighborhood cities as well, I also collected some usage details of my colleagues just to be sure, because my work involves constant call, remote machine accessing and all so I was suspicious about that also. But every part of the details showed me that none of my friends or colleague had crossed 50GB upload per month, that 50GB was also of one friend who is an photographer and has to upload high resolution photos to his website and he posts them on social media as well, my other friends and colleagues had around 12 to 20GB max upload.
So I got frustrated because I had to spend 20 more days with 2MBPS speed which literally kills my productivity as well as my fun time in the buffering.
I raised complaints online which had zero effect. Then I raised complaints through phone call, the case gets registered everytime but I don't hear back from anyone, but then next day I get a message saying your 'complaint has been resolved'. At the same time I was calling, texting, Whatsapp messaging the franchise person who had given the connection all the time, but he didn't receive my calls, nor replied, in whatsapp he saw my message and ignored.
Meanwhile I recharged 40GB FUP from https://redirect1.bbportal.bsnl.co.in/portal/ which I don't know how much it gonna cost after tax and all, I just hope I don't get heart attack after seeing my next month's bill.
After a day of FUP recharge I casually checked my internet usage, it showed me 19GB, almost half of my FUP which I had recharged just 1 day before. I had connected only one device to the WIFI that's my work laptop, nothing else, even my mobile was running on mobile data. The next day (July 21st) I finally lost my patience and continuously called the franchise guy. After a 10 or 12 calls he finally received the call. And I told him all this and that, I also told him the details of my friends and their usage. Then he said to give him remote access to my machine, then he updated the firmware of my router. After that day the next 20GB of FUP survived till yesterday, which is normal and now I'm back to slow speed which I think I need to survive for another 3 days.
So my suggestion would be, if you have any other fiber connection option available in your area please opt them. If not, then please collect few BSNL officials numbers it'll help, else getting the connection is really tough.
Also, keep in mind about the firmware update, else you'll have to pay bill for no reason.
I hope this helps someone.
Very good write-up. We need a strong ISP for all Tier 2 and 3 cities. As of now, only BSNL is holding chance of it across all cities
I have applied online for the FTTH connection on 17th July and on the same day I got a SMS saying my application is rejected with reason not feasible.
Yesterday I visited nearest BSNL office for enqury there I came to know my area comes under different circle and BSNL executive provided me one mobile number of BSNL executive of the circle under which my area falls. Yesterday as well as today I called on the number provided but no response.
I'm from Kerala and also had a similar experience. I applied via online on July 1st and didn't get any reply after 1 week. So I decided to go directly to CSC but it was closed with only 1 staff due to Covid-19 situation. I gave him the request form and he said will be processed in 2-3 days.
Since the connection is provided by local cable TV guys here, I tried contacting them and bsnl, back and forth. The local cable guys tell me that they haven't received any update from BSNL and when I call BSNL, they will tell me the connection is already activated and I need to call the local cable TV guys. This continued for another week and finally I got the connection on 14th July. Since I already had an ONT modem, they only charged me Rs1500 for cabling (which is high but acceptable due to Covid-19 situation). Don't know whether BSNL will charge me additional on first month bill.
The plan they provided was of Rs 499(20 Mbps 200GB FUP) but what I wanted was of Rs 849(50Mbps 600GB FUP). I tried to change tariff via their online portal but whenever I click on change Tariff, it logs me off the portal. So I called Bsnl customer care on July 15th and they told me to apply for tariff change via online or via CSC and they have no option to change it from their end. I tried explaining them my issue and they didn't even care.
I waited for couple of days and my tariff change page started working. I applied for tariff change on July 18 via online and the page said, it will take 2-3 days to take effect. It's more than 10 days now and I'm still waiting for the tariff change. I called their support on 1500, 1504 multiple times and it only connects to the support personnel 1 out of 20 tries. and even if I could connect, they disconnect the call after asking me to wait while they check the status. I wonder how they check the status of my request even without asking my Landline number, LOL.
When I was fedup with this procedure, I became irate and then they asked me to call 197. This number is only available from BSNL phones even though they say otherwise. Since I didn't have a BSNL sim and I didn't setup my LandLine using the ftth connection (I took the connection for internet only), I had to call 197 from my friend's number. I got connected after multiple tries and realised that 197, 1500, 1504 all goes to same place. This guy also told me to call 197. When I told him that I called him on 197, he became angry and asked me to visit local CSC if I have any complaints. I think those support representatives are paid just to tell customers to visit local CSC.
So I decided to visit CSC and found that it was still closed. The security there asked me to write the request/complaint if I have any. I gave him the written request and to my surprise, a BSNL employee called me next day only to disconnect the call after asking my Landline number. After 2 days, I visited CSC once again but same response from there. Next day, I got another call and they said my request for BSNL Fiber Voice is in failed provisioning state and thus they cannot accept my tariff change request without correcting this. They told me that they have escalated the case to their technical team for correction and cannot provide an ETA due to Covid-19 situation.
I'm browsing at post FUP speed of 2mbps now, waiting and performing speedtest every 2-3 hours hoping my plan change has succeeded. I was also someone who grown-up using BSNL dialup and later ADSL. Now I pretty sure that, BSNL is not going to last long and govt will pull the plug soon.
@Pranjal are they giving speed as per plan?
Exactly same experience. In bsnl office the charge they say for ftth is 3000 but the folks will not activate unless we pay what they say. We had to pay 4700 and no receipt. And till now it's not working fine. Download impossible. We have raised sr and call them daily. Let's see when they will fix. What a sad state
I am trying to get fiber connection for last 1 year. Not able to. They say that they have to lay fiber for 400m. I believe that they should lay the fiber as I cannot shift my residence to the pole for their convenience.
- I am trying to get fiber connection for last 1 year. Not able to. They say that they have to lay fiber for 400m. I believe that they should lay the fiber as I cannot shift my residence to the pole for their convenience.
BSNL connection is more secure, so insist for BSNL FTTH connection with nearby Cable Operator.
@Rajat Devdhar I think so that your connection having a botnet attcak and ask the LCO to upgrade the ONT
I too had the same problem then BSNL had also blocked my connection from their side cuz of high upload speed
Then after upgrading it works fine.
There is no absolutely no BSNL in FTTH . They are just the backend network just like railnet . The franchisee is the one providing and servicing the connection in future. The franchisee would get a portion of the bill amount and remaining would go to bsnl.
I am Vikram Sridhar, Director-Pole Star Telecom Private limited,Chennai .I purely agree with your bitter experience with BSNL FTTH , what all charged against BSNL may be true in some locations but in our franchise maintained BSNL exchanges we don't let our customers to suffer .
We collect soft copy of proof from customers after explaining the terms and conditions, through watsapp or mail only as the Franchises are now authorized to do login in our portal and reserve them a new LL number an acknowledgement will be shared to customer .
Generally we don't collect any installation charges from customers as we are operating in chennai we have huge customer base than outer places so collecting charges for laying fibers is purely based on your location .But we do collect a refundable security deposit for the ONT at the time of installation .
1st month bill will be charged with monthly usage fair (depends on date of installation)and one time payable for the following .
1.Security deposit, same as your plan amount.
2. Voice activation charges Rs.250 /-
3.Discount of Rs.10/- will be given for choosing softcopy bill intimation .
If you are charged any extra, it will be waviered off if you intimate them .From second month on your bill amount will be plan amount +18%GST.
More important is bandwidth, which is offered by BSNL is unbeatable .You will get 10% extra bandwidth than your plan specification to support you in peak traffic durations , which I bet no private ISP can offer.
On top of everything you get unlimited Voice calls throughout INDIA . Unlike old copper connections these IP based call feature will give you the best experience ever .
There may be few delay in the process for small level franchises as BSNL FTTH started to boom very recently but the quality of BSNL service will be always outstanding and uncomparable with other private ISP's .
I have taken Bharath fibre last month in Thanjavur,
It is true about the take away pointers, finally I Have logged in my connection only thorough franchise Partner. Adding To that there is a frequent disconnection,
There is no proper service support, franchise Never attend the call. There is no Online payment app. Worst nightmare ever, waiting for alternate connection.
Avoid all government department services if possible. Unfortunately in our area in Mangalore there are no private players. Even ACT couldn't enter the area because our local cable guys refused to support. Jio is also just a dream here at the moment, and nobody knows when they'll be available here. So at the moment, sadly we are at the mercy of BSNL. In this regard, Mangalore proper is like a village even now. Only metros get all the attention of private players.
I am a resident of Bengaluru, Karnataka. It took three years BSNL to provide Fiber network. I got the Fiber conection on 20 Jun 2020.I had BSNL broadband all this time. The broadband speed was slow, hence wanted to get Fiber connection. I opted for 50 Mbps speed and 500 GB costing Rs 777 plus tax plan. I never got the speed of 50 Mbps. Maximum speed that I got is 30 Mbps and goes to as low as .4 to .7 Mbps. I complained to skylink the agency approved by BSNL for laying the cable and commissioning. No response. If I give the same money to private companies better service would be there. But I wanted our BSNL. Should it not bsnl come upto expectations. Sri Ravishankar Prasad to pull up concerned authorities.
I'm from Tamilnadu circle. If you go thru the local cable operator (which is a franchisee in TN Circle) you will get the connection in 24 hours. If you go thru CSC, it'll take 7 to 14 days.
Yes.. the online application was a painful thing. We went to the bsnl office and the person took all efforts to register our application on himself and within a week we were having 50mbps connection running.
U need to buy a wirless router .. not a dsl.. the engineer was courteous enough to guide the seller... Other wise would have had to do a number of rounds to get one.
I subscribed for BSNL ftth in 2019 for 100mbps line. Day 1 till date the speed I get is 10-20mbps. Have tweeted on BSNL corporate and registered complaints. But no response from BSNL Pune office. They're not bothered to resolve. The contractor who implemented has no idea on how to fix it.
Think twice before opting for BSNL ftth. 🙁
It was very easy to opt for Bsnl ftth I had applied it in Feb 1st and the within 10 days they have installed the device and the setup was ready, more over what extra charges are you talking about, I only paid 3800 which included modem, security and 1st month bill and modem price is Rs2500 which is refundable after I surrender the modem to them
I got the connection through a franchise and it cost me 4k with 777 plan and the whole thing was done in a weeks time. The only thing I am concerned about is the fluctuating speeds as the speeds are very volatile in-comparsion to other pvt. fibre service providers.
@epynoc Agreed , I contacted my local dealer too and got my connection setupfsetup a total of Rs1500.
Very detailed information on your experience. I had faced with similar experience of not getting acknowledgment from ACT Fibernet after paying whole amt online. Nobody cares if one goes through the portals, you need an agent to assist in ending up with a proper connection.
I recently opted for ADSL connection since ftth is not provided at my hometown. The claims were of 8 Mbps but i hardly get 1.5 Mbps. Also random downtime of few hours. Total waste of money and time. Several complaints but no solution. Will throw the connection out. Airtel 4g simcard will give better speed and service.
29 July :
> The core Fiber installation(Just the cabling part) is done in the afternoon.
>Received a call at 4:43pm for confirming my Bharat Fiber connection applied via online route. (What for?)
You could have bought Syrotech GPON-ONT w/o Wifi and use your own router which would have cost you just 900rs.
The cable TV operators are charging 1500 Rs. Extra to the modem as service /installation charge further to billing by BsNl for installation if any.
Dear all i applied for bsnl ftth on 3rd of march today is 28 july i got only wire to my home no modem and when i called thrm for modem they are saying it will takr some time on the other hand thry charged me 6000 advance 1000 for monthly rent no refundable security and modem only i paid for bsnl ftth now they are asking 4000 is ur balance i said "What" they said fibre from dp to home you cant beleive i spend 10000 for bsnl ftth but only got wire to home no modem till now i don, t have any other option because only bsnl is the service provider here
i have very good experience with bsnl FTTH .they have given connection in flood affected area .during this flood season when all essential item was not available in my area but bsnl any how maintained their network and high speed data. Thank God now I can WFH. I paid 5000 k .break up 2800 ont+ 849 security deposit+ and rest for cable and installation.
I have faced exact same problem.I hope BSNL goes into private hands and hopefully some reforms takes place.
Cheers guys, I was literally happy seeing all the painful stories here and felt like thank god I am not alone .. I too have a lengthy timeline in achieving this FTTH mission....
I have bsnl fiber broadband here in my city palwal, state- haryana, since last 3 month and waiting for telephone which they say comes with this connection with unlimited calls. Only internet is working phone is still not on.
And now about performance of fiber broadband.
1. Speed- for first 1 month speed was like 90, 100, 80, Mbps. And after that now it's just 30, 40, 50 Mbps.
2. Internet fluctuates most of the time
3. Support is like shit. complaint and complaint and complaint, no response at all.
4. Broadband work for like 15 to 20 days in a month and rest days it down or fault from exchange ... Bla bla bla
If you thinking this for your professional need or for online classes for your children then it will help you just 30 to 40% with lots of irritation.
Whoever gave this idea of franchise to BSNL 😉 Why?
BSNL has a massive capacity and infrastructure, why is a National Asset being troubled, hampered and deprived of growth?
I got connection in 7 days aprox after applying online. 500gb at 499
@Vikram Sridhar Thanks for the detailed explanation sir. I agree bsnl is the only provider which gives that 10 percent extra bandwidth to support peak hours traffic.. here is proof for that too I get upto 55 Mbps on my 50 Mbps connection..
You can check proofs in the link attached.
Though some flaws I will support Bsnl throughout my life..
Had same experience ,
1 . applied for connection online not update.
2.visted bsnl office , applied via physical form.
3. No update waited for 2 months after multiple call to bsnl vendor franchise .
4. Final got connection and paied 5000 k to vendor and he says start plan 849 only available , however website says number of plans .