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Price comparison Internet in USA and India

While this trip to India did not provide me enough time to set up all the infrastructure, I was happy with the technological advancements India witnessed in the past four years.  As I left to USA, in November 2004, my house had only dialup connection. Today we have at least three service providers including one WiMax provider.

We have a BSNL broadband connection, Tata Photon+ wireless Internet Service to complement each other.  Now I will compare the cost of these Internet Services with those in the USA.  I benchmark this with respect to General browsing, Downloading/Video, and VPN users.

The main advantage in the USA is that the Internet is not limited.  And not capped in terms of bandwidth.  The average speed of an Internet connection(cable), in the USA tops about 15 Mbps. Considering the fact that this is unlimited, one in India would expect a high costs associated with that.  But Comcast provide such high speed Internet connection for about $20 a month for the first six months and $45 thereafter.

In India however, there are various plans with various speeds and limits on total transfer.  We have a plan that costs us 600 rupees per month. We have 2.5 GB of free transfer, and 0.8 rupees per MB after the limit.  And this gives us about 2 Mbps tops.  Remember 2 Mbps translates to about 190 KBps in actual download. To put it in perspective this is approximately $12. But 2.5 GB is not nearly as sufficient for even everyday browsing.By average we go over by about 1 GB, every month. So The total cost would be around 1500 rupees or more (~$35). To help the situation, BSNL gives *Happy Hours* between 2AM and 8AM. During this time, transfers are not metered.  For my use (VPN to USA), This plan is very good.

There are some unlimited plans provided in BSNL.  These however are only limited by their speed.  A 750 rupees($17) per month plan gives you 256 Mpbs.  There is another 1350($30) plan that gives you 512 Mbps. Both of these do not meet my thirst for speed. BSNL recently introduced a 2700 ($60) rupees plan – gives 50 GB – 8Mbps – Line. This is a high end plan for extreme users. But I don't see why BSNL comes up with a limit even on such high priced offerings.

For Tata Photon+, The offers are much simpler. My brother and I use this as contingency service. We use the 999 plan 5GB day and 10GB night (10PM - 6AM) Transfers. Which is a cost-effective alternative for a backup plan.

There are other service providers with multiple options in plans. But BSNL seems the most viable for me.

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