Thinking of upgrading your home broadband line? Or want to buy a new broadband connection for home? After all, home broadband, which many of us never really cared about till the world shifted to the work from home routine a few weeks ago as a result of the global Coronavirus, or COVID pandemic. For years, I have known people who didn’t even know the speed of their home broadband line—what subscription plan were they on, what were the maximum speeds on offer and how much data was bundled. It just worked, because it probably wasn’t as critical and essential as it is now. So, listen up, because you’ll probably need this advice.
If you are buying a home broadband line, the rule is simple—faster is better. And you really can’t get it any faster than 1000Mbps, that is 1Gbps in simpler terms, right now. We have left behind (far behind, thankfully), the days when a 512Kbps (0.5Mbps, for the millennials) internet connection was considered broadband. Now you can take your pick from 100Mbps, 150Mbps, 200Mbps, 300Mbps, 500Mbps and 1000Mbps plans, depending on who you have taken the home broadband connection from. The way things are, these 1Gbps plans don’t exactly cost an arm and a leg either. At present, Reliance JioFiber, Airtel Xstream broadband, Spectra, ACT broadband and MTNL offer 1Gbps internet connections for your home. Pretty much takes you to the cutting edge of home broadband in the country.
What does Reliance JioFiber offer? Answer: A lot of data and more
First things first, Reliance Jio is offering double data to all JioFiber customers at this time—you can check the eligibility for your plan on the Jio website. Reliance JioFiber has 1Gbps plans that start at Rs 3,999 per month. In total, there are two plans that you can choose from. The first is the JioFiber Platinum 1Gbps plan is priced at Rs 3,999 per month which bundles 5,000GB of data every month—this was earlier 2,500GB data per month. Then there is the highest spec Titanium plan which costs Rs 8,499 per month and offers 1Gbps speed with 10000GB data per month—this was earlier 5000GB data usage per month. You also get annual subscriptions for streaming apps including Disney+ Hotstar, Sony Liv, Zee5, SunNxt, Voot and JioCinema.
I have an Airtel broadband connection. Can I upgrade?
Yes you can, if the Xstream fiber rollout in your area is complete. The Airtel fiber broadband plans are called Xstream, and you have the flagship X-Stream VIP plan that offers 1Gbps speed. It is priced at Rs 3,999 per month. This bundles unlimited data usage and also unlimited local and STD voice calls with the landline phone. There are Airtel Thanks benefits too, including access to Zee 5 Premium content, subscription to the Airtel Xstream platfor and one year of Amazon Prime subscription that includes Amazon Prime Video.
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Spectra has some unique plans, that offer more with long term commitment.
Incidentally, the 1Gbps journey started long ago for Spectra. They have been offering 1Gbps plans in various regions for a while now—though there have been price revisions since. At present, Spectra has the Spectra Fastest plan which offers 1Gbps speed is priced at Rs 2,499 per month. This is actually an increase from the Rs 1,549 price tag that was slapped on this plan till a few months ago. Nevertheless, you now also get the Spectra Voice VoIP service for free with this plan, which means unlimited voice calls as well. If you choose the monthly billing plan, that will get you 1000GB data per month. If you choose to pay for 6 months in advance, you get 2000GB data per month. If you decide to pay for an entire year in one go, then you get unlimited data usage per month.
MTNL is also part of the game
In the midst of the battles between the privately-owned broadband companies, the state-run MTNL is in no mood to be left behind. They have two 1Gbps plans that users in Delhi and Mumbai can choose from. The first is the FTH-2990 plan which costs Rs 2,990 per month. As a part of the initial launch offer, MTNL is offering 4000GB of bundled data usage per month with this plan. The second plan is called FTH-4990 which bundles 8000GB of data and costs Rs 4,990 per month.
ACT has done some great work for users in the COVID pandemic
ACT Broadband was one of the first ISPs in the country to bump up the internet connection speed for users and offer more data. Irrespective of the tariff plan they were on at the time, ACT bumped up the FUP of all users to offer unlimited data usage, particularly helpful as everyone is working from home. Also, all subscribers who were on lower speed plans were upgraded to 300Mbps speeds, for no extra cost. This offer remains active till the end of this month. Act Broadband is now offering a 1Gbps plan in certain cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. The Act Giga plan costs Rs 5,999 per month in Bengaluru and otherwise bundles 3,500GB of data per month. In Chennai, the same plan costs Rs 2,999 per month and offers 3000GB data. In Hyderabad, this plan costs Rs 5,999 and offers 2000GB data. Chennai really has the best deal at this time!