My broadband story first
MTNL has started deploying the Fiber To The Home (FTTH) broadband connections in various localities in Delhi. Rohini area being one such locality in which I reside. Earlier the only options I had in terms of fixed line broadband in my society were MTNL ADSL(Asymmetric Digital subscriber Line ) and Reliance Fiber Metro Ethernet broadband connection. We had no option of Airtel, for which I was real eager to switch to because of its high reliability.
Both Reliance and MTNL ADSL were unsatisfactory with their uptimes. I have used both and Reliance was quite a shocking experience for me. I had opted for the Reliance connection back when we had more of the limited usage plans. I had a speed of 2 mbps down with a 2GB free usage after that chargeable. Initially I was quite happy with the connection, It had very less ping times and great speed but it went down a couple of times approximately 4-5 times in a month but it was better as compared to MTNL ADSL which went down 5-6 times in a day (due to very old and shoddy wiring in my place) but a time came when my Reliance connection went down for a whole month and to my horror I received a bill of Rs 15,000 even though I didn't use any Internet that month because it was not working.
I figured out that someone else had used my internet profile because the Reliance connections back then were not port bounded, (Or it can also be a case of fraudulent billing from Reliance's side because as people call it it is a "CHOR" company). I got Reliance disconnected then and ther and never looked back.Well that thing aside I have been a loyal customer for MTNL broadband for the past 10 years approx. Although I had to live with the frequent disconnection problem with MTNL but that didn't bother me much because the connection was mostly back in 5 to 10 minutes.
All these years I was on a 512 kbps unlimited connection but then for youtube this isn't enough so I thought upgrading the plan speed might help me. So I opted for a 2 mbps plan , the speeds were good, 480p played smoothly but sometimes youtube did buffer even on a 360p quality setting the cause which I haven't been able to figure out why. ADSL was not upto the mark for my Internet needs. I wanted something faster and more reliable and god was kind enough to relieve me of my agony after 10 years by bringing in MTNL FTTH to my area. I should say it was a real happy moment of my life when I got a call from the MTNL sales executive asking if I wanted a fiber connection. I was just ecstatic and instantly agreed.
The sales rep. was quite prompt enough that he came to my house with the application form within minutes of the phone call. I opted for the annual plan FTTH 790 in which i only had to pay for 10 months while the registration, installation etc. charges were totally free. I just had to pay Rs.800 for the wifi modem. The sales rep was a MTNL govt. employee and had a pleasing nature (I was quite surprised!). Well he said that I would get the connection installed in 7 days.
|Boxes at the base of my building(the thin fiber cable to my home starts from here)|
I nodded and he left, 5 days passed and a boy of 17-18 years of age(don't know exactly but he looked like) came to my house and dropped a thin optical fiber cable from my balcony to the ground and left saying that an engineer will come in the evening to install the modem/ONT(optical node terminal).Well no one came that day,The fiber cable is even thinner than the normal telephone cable that comes into your house. Two days passed, there was no sign of any engineer but on the 8th day a guy from Aksh Optifiber (company handling FTTH deployment and maintenance for MTNL) came and installed the connection in about an hour(it took long because my ONT was not upgraded to the latest firmware). Somehow with the help of people from MTNL NOC(network operations center) he did manage to setup the ONT.
|The white fiber cable and its connector|
ONT is the same shape and size that of a normal ADSL modem but instead of a telephone line input this has an optical input. It has 4 ethernet ports and 2 telephone RJ11 output jacks with a power ON/OFF button in the front. This ONT supports 2.5Gbps down and 1.5Gbps upload bandwidth. Although the company name of the modem is not mentioned I got the specs from a similar looking ONT on the internet. Unlike an ADSL modem we can not fully configure this ONT by ourselves(only some configuration options are available like port forwarding etc.), DNS and other options can only be configured by the people at NOC using the optical interface.
|ONT (Optical Node Terminal) Top view|
Now came the turn to setup the wifi connection, I thought that the ONT would have wifi built in but this was not the case. The installation guy took out a MTNL wifi ADSL modem 450TC1 from his bag, took a CAT5 cable and connected the first port of the ONT to the first port on the wifi ADSL modem. He just setup the SSID and password on the wifi, opened the yahoo page on my netbook to show that the connection is working and left. I couldn't wait to atart exploring this new connection and went to setup my desktop and other laptop. I filled in my wifi password in my laptop and opened chrome, put in facebook.com and to my surprise saw "Server not found" message. Then I went back to my netbook and the internet was not working on it either. All my dreams and expectations had shattered then and there. I thought a "sarkari company" can not change the color of its feathers...
|ONT front view|
I did a bit of experimentation and found that the internet was intermittently working on my devices, instantly I figured out that the WiFi router is the culprit. Internet was working fine if directly connected my laptop to the ONT via a CAT5 cable. I typed in 192.168.1.1 in my browser to open the wifi adsl router setting page and started tinkering with the settings. After 2-3 hours of trying to solve, searching on the internet to make the wifi router work as a switch I just remembered that in my third year of Engineering I had done a training in networking where I virtually setup many big cisco routers and switches.
|ONT back view|
I suddenly realised that I am an A**hole that I couldn't apply my brain to setup such a puny wifi router. (Well I will blame the installation guy, it was his job to setup wifi to work with the ONT.) .The thing that made the setup work was that two router can not be connected to each other on the same set of ip adress group. for example my wifi router was assigned the ip address 192.168.1.1 and the ONT which is also a kind of router was having the ip address 192.168.1.251.
What I did was ,just set the ip address on the wifi adsl router to 192.168.2.1 instead of 192.168.1.1, turned OFF DHCP on the Wifi router and voila! internet started working like a bullet train on all my terminals simultaneously. Its been a month since that day and the internet hasn't disconnected even for a single second for all these 30 days. WIN! for me. Although the power adapter given with the ONT was a bit faulty as whenever switched ON the fan in my room it would just restart the ONT (was a very weird problem I guess!) well i got it changed and now I am a real happy and satisfied MTNL FTTH user.
Connection speed and Quality
The speeds are great too with no buffering at all even on 1080p youtube videos. The download speeds that I get in Orbit Download manager are about 1.5MB/s and speedtest.net website indicates my connection speed as 12Mbps although I am on a 10 mbps plan. Pingtest.net shows my connection quality to be 'A'.
|Speed on a 10mbps plan|
Very fast and stable speeds
Not too costly
Free installation with the annual plan
No disconnections(its like having a business leased line at home)
Optical fiber right up-to home (can support exceptionally high speeds in future )
Installation not up to the mark