_this entry was posted back in 2003, and is now outdated._
Some good news finally! This will be the first affordable faster than modem service once it’s available. Broadband is going to take a few more years, but even 128k-256k links are far better than dialup. Multinet is already providing DSL, but at 14000 Rs. it’s far to much for non business use. WorldCall has started a “cable internet service”:http://www.go4b.net which I’ve been using for the last three months, but their service makes the KESC look good! I’ve written a review of WorldCall’s service, which I’ll post in the next few days. The minute a reputable company like “Cybernet”:http://www.cyber.net.pk starts DSL at reasonable prices I’ll be switching. Hell, I’ll go pay them months in advance to get a faster connection!
bq. PTCL, the owner of the massive copper pairs that run across and under our roads, has “decided to allow”:http://www.ptcl.com.pk/news/aug_29_2003.html all willing (and qualifying) ISPs to offer DSL services to their users. This *is* exciting. Watch out this space for more on this in the next few hours.
>> “Tee Emm’s Window to Pakistan”:http://pakistan.blogspot.com/2003_08_31_pakistan_archive.html#106259279117631085
Like many other things in this country, nothing has happened in the DSL world even after the so called derugulation. All the companies offering DSL are cookie cutters of each other, offering basically the same prices for a ridiculously low amount of bandwidth (5-6GB/month). Hugely disappointing.
h4. DSL Providers in Karachi so far:
* “Multinet”:http://multinet.com.pk/ :: Prices ridiculous, also their website hasn’t been updated for a year.
* “World Online DSL”:http://www.wol.com.pk/dsl.htm :: “Price is ridiculous”:http://www.wol.com.pk/tarrif.htm, just recently started DSL.
* “Supernet”:http://super.net.pk/ :: Their website is another indecipherable maze. I couldn’t find anything on DSL on the website, but they do offer DSL.
* “Micronet Broadband”:http://www.dsl.net.pk/ :: Service only in Islamabad.
Unfortunately, none of them is affordable for home use. Even small business can’t afford the current DSL prices. Its now Feb 2004, and there are still no DSL providers in Karachi at affordable rates. A number of other companies have started up now, but all of them are way overpriced. All of them seem to be aiming for the corporate sector where they can make easy margins. It’ll take a while before they move into the consumer market, possible till 2005-2006.
*Update:* Read “WorldCall: 4 month review”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2003_09/worldcall_4_month_review.html :: For those leaving in the areas where WorldCall reaches, it is the only viable option at 1400 Rs for 64K and 2100 for 128K 24-7.
Another option is to have multiple 56K modems in a multilink configuration. There are a number of easy to use linux packages for such a router. Three modems will give better performance than any 128 DSL package currently available in this country. On top of that, it’ll be a lot cheaper, and there are no bandwidth limitations on dialup. Even two modems will be almost as fast as a 128K DSL line from Supernet costing 30K. Hardware modems are now quite cheap, and second hand ones are readily available. The only problem will be finding a computer with more than 2 serial ports. Costwise, it won’t be much, for internet phone calls are charged as one call no matter what the length, and dialup prices are very low now. Any old secondhand PC should do a great job acting as a router, firewall and caching proxy server.
*Update*: See ‘here’:http://spiderisat.blogspot.com/2004/09/new-dsl-service-providers.html for a lot more information on DSL.
*Update:* I’ve signed up for Cybernet’s home DSL service. See ‘here for details’:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/pakistan/2004_11/cybernet_home_dsl_diary.html.
_*ridiculous:* anything above Rs. 2500/month for 128kb_