Internet Via Cable... : Interact Inn All India Mailing List
Internet Via Cable...
25th Feb 1999 Chirag Mehta @chime.hypermart.net
Dear Inn-mates, Today I went to an electrical exhibition here in Calcutta (Netaji Indoor Stadium). For me, the main reason was the recent advertisement by RPG Netcom on their cable channels : Internet via Cable. I went and inquired all the details. The person there told me that RPG is FULLY READY to start giving / providing their subscribers with day and night high speed Internet via Cable. The ONLY thing that's lacking at present is the Govt. of India's permission to let them become ISP. The Cable Internet will be almost 100 times faster than current VSNL dial-up connections. All the user has to do is buy a cable modem (it's costly now... but prices will definitely drop to around Rs. 6000 - Rs. 8000 and it's a one time investment), fix the modem to a Lan/Ethernet Card (costs around Rs. 800) and install the software provided and Lo ! there you have.. fast and 24hrs a day, 30 days a month Internet connection. This connection will be alike... if not better than VSNL's 128 kbps connections that cost more than Rs. 6 to Rs. 7 Lacs annually. You can host your own website on your computer too since it's online day and night and you're on the net as soon as you switch on your computer. Well at least that's what the RPG Netcom person claims. And looking at @Home's www.home.com ) success with Internet via Cable in United States, I guess he's probably right. Check out this page : http://www.home.com/home/speed.html : to see the speed of cable internet. RPG says it's 100% ready to become an ISP overnight. All it's sub-cable-providers (that is the person in your locality who connects with RPG) are also ready to be equiped with bi-directional cable amplifiers and you don't have to shell out anything for that. Oh well, they may charge Rs. 1000 for first time installation fees and may be the monthly Internet price may vary from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 (RPG does not say anything about this... as they say it all depends on Govt.'s regulation and tax charges) But all that is FAR to less as compared to VSNL's charges of whopping 6 - 7 Lacs ! Now high speed Internet might be finally accessible to small companies and net-enthusiasts. However, there might be a few technical problems, related to poor cable wires etc. but that's entirely the responsibility of your sub-cable-provider. I wonder how long will our Govt. take before they realise the potention of this great technology. Everybody keeps talking of properity of the nation... so how about giving RPG the ISP-ship and let them make our country online. And if Govt. is afraid of monopoly, then give Siti-Cable and others the permission to be ISP's too... I know one thing, if RPG comes, VSNL will meet it's doom in big cities and towns which are already connected by big cable companies. Far away places and smaller towns might use VSNL, however I don't see much future for a Rs. 64 lac per year for 2 mbps connection. So let's wait for a few more months... and hopefully by then... we all can have Cable-Modems... day/night Internet... Video-conferencing... web-servers... Voice-chat... and NO HUGE TELEPHONE BILLS !!! :-) Chirag Mehta, Chime Softwares, Calcutta, India
25th Feb 1999 Srinath Srinivasa @usa.net
Cable modems sound good! But why are they being denied ISP status? Have the govt provided any reasons? As far as I know, the govt *has* opened up the market for private ISPs.
25th Feb 1999 Chief Access Facilitator @webindia.com
Hi The high speed conn of 100 MBPS is from ur compy to the cable head end. After that u r at the mercy of the present day internet and bandwidth blues. Unless U r going to use high end applkications like VOip or Video conferencing that bandwidth is a waste. Unless RPG can come up with local content u dont have much use for the bandwitdh Regds
26th Feb 1999 Huzefa Rangwala @hotmail.com
Hi IINmates, Sure , the cable modem when introduced will be a great advance in using the internet. But has anyone thought of the extra cost in buying the so called 'set-top' box ? Its a instrument which connects to your cable tv 'cable' and is very different from a normal modem. A modem can only be used on analog lines, whereas the internet signal carried by a cable will be digital. Thanks, Huzefa.
1st March 1999 Daanesh @usa.net
Hello Chirag, You seem to be pretty naive and un-informed about the Internet market in India. First, there is no restriction on anyone become an ISP in India, the rules are pretty simple and even you can become an ISP. Second, there is no restriction on pricing, so when the seller hums and haws about the price, take it for granted nothing exists. I had been to an exibition where a VERY reputed Indian company was "displaying" cable modems for Rs. 6,000 each. However they were not for sale even though I offered to buy a 1,000 of them on the spot, CASH payment. Third, Reverse path is a huge issue and doubt if anyone has over come it in India yet. Fourth, Please read what cable modem users in the US have to say about it right now. and Please remeber nothing comes free, if 2 mbps costs over a crore/annum you would have to oversell it a lot before an ISP could give it to you for about Rs. 1000 a month. Fifth, you are NOT allowed to subnet or run webservers off these connections, read the fine print. I could go on, but before you get into VSNL bashing consider everything. Could anyone here define what is "good quality of Service" and how much is a reasonable cost for Internet access? Daanesh
2nd March 1999 Chirag Mehta @chime.hypermart.net
Dear Mr. Daanesh, Sir, I never wanted to insult VSNL or the GOI. And I'll ignore your remark about me being naive and un-informed about Internet in India. Kindly send such mails to my own email a/c ( email@example.com ) and not to this mailing list. Thank-you. VSNL's a really great service ( and everybody can vote for it at http://guide.vsnl.net.in ) but they've to go through the Telephone Department in order to provide dial-up service and that adds to the cost. Leased-line expenses are of course very very high. Nothing wrong on VSNL's or the Telephone Department's part. However Sir, before criticizing me, you should have atleast read my mail carefully. I had clearly written in many places that : 'The person there told me....' ; 'Well at least that's what the RPG Netcom person claims...' ; 'RPG does not say anything about this...' - all of these indicating that the information etc. were not publicly made statements, but just simple pieces of information I managed to collect which I wanted to share with our Inn-mates. As soon as I heard about the electronic fair and RPG's Net service, I went there personally to inspect and verify the details, and upon returning home, promptly posted it in the Inn for everybody's views. Dear Inn-mates, as Ms. Vani would agree, a mailing list lives and thrives only due to the spirit of its members. I posted the 'Internet via Cable...' mail in this list because of service and love to fellow Inn-mates. It was sharing of knowledge. I'm very sad at the negative response of the same by Mr. Daanesh... Anyway Sir, regarding the five issues that you mentioned: > First, there is no restriction on anyone become an ISP in India, the rules > are pretty simple and even you can become an ISP. Well, I wish becoming an ISP was that simple. And if it really is, thanks to the GOI. Believe me, the RPG Netcom person himself told me that the Govt. was uselessly delaying their ISP-ship. He claimed that RPG had ALL the necessary infrastructure required to become an independant ISP bypassing VSNL's Satellite connections etc. i.e. RPG has all equipment to directly hook upto the satellite, without going through any of VSNL's equipment, thus making the connections a lot faster. > Second, there is no restriction on pricing, so when the seller hums and > haws about the price, take it for granted nothing exists. I had been to an > exibition where a VERY reputed Indian company was "displaying" cable modems > for Rs. 6,000 each. However they were not for sale even though I offered to > buy a 1,000 of them on the spot, CASH payment. As Mr. Huzefa pointed out too: ---- In Reply To ---- From: "Huzefa Rangwala"
> Hi IINmates, > Sure , the cable modem when introduced will be a great > advance in using the internet. But has anyone thought of the > extra cost in buying the so called 'set-top' box ? >Huzefa. ------- Reply ------- Well Sirs, as I said earlier. It's a one time Investment. Cable Modems are available all over the world now, at around US $ 300 - US $ 500, as mentioned in www.cablemodems.com etc. And with increasing popularity, price of every commodity falls. At least that's what the Law of Demand states (I'm in Class XII, preparing for my boards and just read that in my Business Economics book. :-) Everything is costly in the beginning, right ? But with the increase in demand, the price falls. No one could have believed four years ago that a 32 MB RAM chip could be bought for as less as Rs. 1700/-. > Third, Reverse path is a huge issue and doubt if anyone has over come it in > India yet. Really ? I thought I'd leave those technical matters to RPG ppl. Anyway, most of the Cable Internet providers abroad are using the QPSK modulation scheme to overcome it. Sure, QAM64 is better and faster (upto 36 mpbs) where as QPSK is about 10 mbps. However, QPSK is more reliable and robust in noisy environments than higher order modulation techniques. Anyway, I'd really not bother about "how" RPG gives me the Internet. If and when they do give me Internet, I'll just want a 'good' and 'fast' Internet connection. > Fourth, Please read what cable modem users in the US have to say about it > right now. What do cable modem users in US say ? Well, check out : http://www.home.com/quotes.html : As one can see, almost all of them are happy. Ah... I know that @Home guys post only the best reviews and not the criticisms, however, some of my ICQ friends have cable-internet and they tell me it's really great. I asked one of my friends to download a 4 MB file (Icq99), install it and tell me if how it works, and guess what ? He downloaded that in 8-9 seconds and installed it within the next minute and told me ICQ99 was worth the download ! What more can I say ? > and Please remeber nothing comes free, if 2 mbps costs over a > crore/annum you would have to oversell it a lot before an ISP could give it > to you for about Rs. 1000 a month. I totally agree with you Sir. RPG might be incurring huge costs in becoming a Cable-based ISP, but well, that's their business. Based on their previous accomplishments, I'm sure that they'll create a market for Cable-Internet. After all, as far as Calcutta is concerned, I think almost 50% or more of Cable TV is under their influence. Anyway, I could be wrong in the exact figures, but it's a well known fact that within a matter of two years, they managed to take control of half of the cable-providers and unite them, thus giving us a good quality and uninterupted cable TV service. Cable-Internet might be too costly in the beginning, but I really don't see why the prices would not stabilize afterwards. Remember, the first Cellular Phone Services ? Costing an initial fees of Rs. 50000/- or more ? Now ? The initial costs are less than Rs. 5000/- I don't know much about business (You can call me naive in this regard) but looking @ the way prices of technology items drop with time, I expect Cable-Internet prices to drop too. However, it has to be noted that the Cable-Internet providers have to provide good reliable service. That is if they don't give what they claim, that is connections 100 times faster than VSNL Dial-up and 24 hours connectivity, obviously, Cable-Internet won't catch up. Well, looking at the success of 'At Home' in US and Europe, I think RPG, if technically capable, can in fact manage to become the best Indian ISP. > Fifth, you are NOT allowed to subnet or run webservers off these > connections, read the fine print. Well, @Home certainly does not allow running web-servers and that is a known fact. But I asked the RPG person if I could setup a server on my computer through the RPG Cable-Internet connection. His response was, 'If you can do the technical part of installing the software yourself for setting up the server etc. then it's ok with RPG. Just don't ask us to do it for you.' However, RPG may and may not allow web-servers to run off their subscriber's computers. That's in their hands. I think they'll go for the scheme @Home is implementing : @Work. That is extra price for running your web-servers from your own computers. Seems quite logical to me. We'll just have to wait and see what RPG does. > I could go on, but before you get into VSNL bashing consider everything. Well Sir, I just said that : "I know one thing, if RPG comes, VSNL will meet it's doom in big cities and towns which are already connected by big cable companies. Far away places and smaller towns might use VSNL, however I don't see much future for a Rs. 64 lac per year for 2 mbps connection." And I still stand by it. 'IF' RPG gives what the person told me and what a good cable-internet provider is supposed to give, I'm quite sure that VSNL will suffer in the home-user dial-up market as well as broad-bandwidth corporate sectors, who too would prefer to use a comparitely very cheap service. But, as I said, it all depends on what RPG manages to give. If they give, then good. If not, then their service won't catch up in India. Simple. ---- In Reply To ---- > From: Chief Access Facilitator > The high speed conn of 100 MBPS is from ur compy to the cable head end. > After that u r at the mercy of the present day internet and bandwidth > blues. Unless U r going to use high end applkications like VOip or Video > conferencing that bandwidth is a waste. Unless RPG can come up with local > content u dont have much use for the bandwitdh ------- Reply ------- Agreed. But I think that services like Real-video, Real-audio, MP3-multicasting etc. can be easily utilised. Other than that, web-surfing is a lot faster and downloads are very very fast. Well, paucity of bandwidth is a problem. Never the excess of it. So I guess all of us will find some way to use and exploit the excess bandwidth, if given the chance. > Could anyone here define what is "good quality of Service" and how much is > a reasonable cost for Internet access? VSNL's dial-up service is pretty good. With the correct dial-up configuration, even frequent disconnections are a thing of the past now. If I'm looking for an ISP, I would want to have: (1) Fast dial-up procedure: With automated scripts and more and more new VSNL's access numbers coming up, the dial-up is getting faster and faster. (2) Low number of disconnections: Till about six months ago, the rate of disconnections was very high. However, now I feel it's quite stabilised. I've successfully stayed online for 2-3 hours many times without getting disconnected and at times, even 4-5 hours. (3) Customer Service: Now, I'm sure everybody appreciates VSNL's quick Helpdesk service. I'll called up several times and each time I was attended to by a polite person at the other end. However, I cannot say if this happens only in Calcutta or all over India. (4) Connection Speed: Well, generally I can connect to the Net @ around 26400 - 33600 kbps using my 33.6 kbps modem and I think that's fairly well. (5) Cost : Rs. 10500 for 500 hours seems a bit high though. But I cannot blame them. Telecommunications is very very capital intensive. Only drawback is that the 100/250/500 hours expire within 12 months. I've known that many of my friends have extra hours left over and only a few days before they expire. So it seems that VSNL has managed to maintain their QOS (Quality of Service) and regularly they update their subscribers via email, with their plans on further expansion and betterment of service. However, the main problem with dial-up Internet is the high Telephone bill. If the Telecom department brings out a new scheme, say a flat monthly rate of Rs. 2500/- for as much use of telephone for connecting to the Net, then I guess things might improve. VSNL in turn might benefit as the users will log on to the net more often and for longer periods. But alas, these are just assumptions and it doesn't seem likely that any of this might be ever implemented. Personally, I think the reasonable cost for Internet access (including Telephone + VSNL) might be around Rs. 1500/- to Rs. 2500/- for 24hrs a day, per month. I just hope RPG's service comes within that range. Dr. Raj has set-up an online voting booth @ http://guide.vsnl.net.in : There you can vote on how you think the service of VSNL is : Better than expected / Expected / Worse than Expected. :-) Chirag Mehta Calcutta, India.