September 01, 2008

BSNL Dataone screws up own service

This is the biggest news of today.that is why I am taking my time to post this,even though I have two exams to prepare for tomorrow :)

From today morning,my friend who uses Dataone 500C was getting a strange problem with the otherwise troublesome service.Whatever url he gives in his browser leads to a page that contains a login page and tells the user that their bandwidth has exceeded 1 GB.

I being a user having 59 range of ips and him being a 117 user(a class of users doomed to face the wrath of foolish dataone engineers),I had no issues. The description of the problem suits a classic DNS poisoning case.Whatever url you give,is redirected to the above said page,asking for username and password(which doesn't work also :P).So I feared it might be related to the BIND bug that had surface a few weeks back and is at large even now.Our lab administrator had explained how dangerous that could be and we had seen it attack ours as well as our University's sites.

So,I advised him to move to OpenDNS,hoping that it would have solved the issue.But it didn't.One thing to note is that torrents were working properly,you could visit secure sites(which used https),use Yahoo Messenger etc.Also ping and other network tools work without issues.I was wondering if its some kind of virus,as he and some others who had issues were from Windows.

This continued till just a few minutes back.I looked up several forums,and found one which mentioned and debated various reasons for this to happen.The last post was by a guy who got info from BSNL that this is a legitimate work of BSNL that got screwed up due to their usual crappy implementation policies.

The intention was to warn the user that their bandwidth has exceeded 1GB,so they can login,accept and continue with net usage.But thanks to the good engineers sitting over there,the login code was not in place..hence giving it a hacking site look.Also the traceroute gave its position to be just after the BSNL site,making people think that the site got hacked or corrupted.Also as the users were never informed beforehand of such a move,all were taken by surprise.But thanks to a few ppl in 117 range who didn't cross 1GB,I could fix that it was not bind bug,in which case it would have affected all 117 ppl at once,or even using OpenDNS would have solved problem.

I just got information that it has finally been fixed.But I wonder how could such a blunder have occured?Why did they implement a feature without warning or informing users?Shouldn't they have given workaround or info on the page they had redirected everyone to??? And wth did they not test the login code that was supposed to affect thousands of users all over India???This is not the first time such stupid things are being done by them.

On implementing and introducing the 117 range of ips,their login and usage checking site was a complete was a big headache for those users.A friend informed me that its not quite perfect even now.Also there were many cases when users got huge bills as big as 35k per month.Their support system certainly has improved a bit(8 bit=1 byte),but they still can deal with only the old issues that plagued initial Dataone users,like with the router and other things.Most of the BSNL offices responded to this issue by either taking the JTO's phone receiver off the cradle or giving a list of phone numbers(mostly disconnected ones) to call to.

Hm...I have been using BSNL Dataone for quite some time now..I had faced some issues,but the new 117 users are facing much more troublesome ones...not to mention the other bureaucratic delays involved...Why is all this happening to such a big company that deals with such a huge number of customers who are paying to get good service.The speed and plans provided by Dataone makes it a destination of all those who can afford it(time cost far exceeds financial cost).I still can't figure out what is happening at their technical office...what the engineers were thinking before letting out such a new feature...are they dumb???I am not alone is expressing this kind of feelings...just google for BSNL or bsnl sucks or check any broadband related forum..there are always more people pointing out new and strange issues of the service than those pointing out good features.

I do appreciate their technical service quality(read as bandwidth and speed),but their implementation and support policies are the worst of any I have ever seen or heard in this high tech field.The fact that they do limit speeds during 2-8 is something bad which I add thats it..hope those guys improve ...

"Good decisions come out of experience,but experience comes out of bad decisions!":P