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#StayHome: The Home Broadband Buying Guide; Rs 499 Onwards & No Excuses For Not Working From Home


Last Updated: April 09, 2020, 19:12 IST

#StayHome: The Home Broadband Buying Guide; Rs 499 Onwards & No Excuses For Not Working From Home

Most ISP, or internet service providers, are offering speeds between 100Mbps and 1Gbps, at quite affordable price points. What you pick depends on your usage requirements and budget, but Coronavirus work from home routine shouldn’t get spoilt because you don’t have a reliable internet connection at home.

Coronavirus has ensured many are working from home now, and many more will start working from home in the coming days. A common worry that corporates and organizations have is whether employees will be able to work as efficiently from home—and that stems from the fact that a lot of home users may not exactly have good home broadband lines to work with. Probably a couple of years ago, working from home might have been quite difficult. Now, not so much. The reason? Broadband lines for homes are now as far as 1Gbps, that is 1000Mbps download and upload speeds, if you make the pick. Most ISP, or internet service providers, are offering speeds starting 100Mbps going all the way up to 1Gbps. It’s not all work though, because these broadband lines will come in handy for your Netflix and Amazon Prime Video binge watching sessions too.

At present, the popular broadband players in India include Reliance JioFiber, Airtel Broadband, ACT Fibernet, Spectra and the good old BSNL and MTNL. What we have here is a ready reckoner for you—the latest broadband tariff plans that are on offer and you decide which one works best for your requirement and budget.

Airtel Broadband: Prices Start Rs 799

The entry-spec Basic plan is priced at Rs 799 per month and includes 150GB of data per month, at a speed of up to 100Mbps. The next Airtel Xstream broadband plan is called Entertainment, and this is priced at Rs 999 per month. What you get is 300GB of data per month, at a speed of up to 200Mbps. The Airtel Xstream Premium plan is priced at Rs 1,499 per month. This bundles 500GB data per month at maximum speeds of 300Mbps. At the top of the pile is the flagship VIP plan, offering unlimited data usage at speeds up to 1000Mbps, that is 1Gbps for easier understanding.

Airtel is offering an add-on for all broadband plans except the VIP plan, which converts them into completely unlimited plans. The add-on is priced at Rs 299 and is applicable for the Basic, Entertainment and Premium plans. For instance, if you have a subscription to the Airtel Xstream Basic broadband plan, you would be paying Rs 799 per month for 150GB data at up to 100Mbps speeds. Now, if you make it Rs 799 plus Rs 299 per month, you get unlimited data at 100Mbps speeds.

Apart from that, each broadband plan bundles Airtel Thanks benefits as well as a landline phone with unlimited local and national calls. The Airtel Thanks benefits include subscription to the Airtel Thanks video streaming service, an annual subscription to Amazon Prime which includes Amazon Prime Video and subscription to Zee5.

Reliance JioFiber: Costs you Rs 699 onwards

The entry price point to the Reliance JioFiber broadband line-up is the Bronze plan priced at Rs 699 which offers up to 100Mbps speed and bundles 150GB of data—of which 100GB base data limit and 50GB extra data, which will be available for 6 months. The second plan is called Silver and is priced at Rs 849 per month. This also offers 100Mbps speeds and bundles 400GB of data in total—here 200GB is base data and 200GB bonus data that is available for 6 months. For Rs 1,299 per month, you can get the Gold plan which offers 250Mbps of speed and 500GB of base data limit with a 6-month extra benefit of 250GB data. If the higher 500Mbps speed is what entices you, that will cost you Rs 2,499 per month for 1250GB data plus the 250GB extra data benefit which remains accessible for the next 6 months. This is also the plan from which JioFiber allows access to the immersive VR experiences and the First Day First Show movie release premieres as well as special sports event. The first 1Gbps plan is priced at Rs 3,999 per month which bundles 2,500GB of data every month. The highest spec plan is priced at Rs 8,499 per month which offers 1Gbps speed and 5000GB data usage per month.

All plans bundle subscriptions to streaming platforms including Hotstar, SonyLiv, Zee5, SunNxt, Voot and JioCinema. There are additional device upgrade options a for long-term plans, if you choose to pay in advance.

ACT Fibernet: Rs 749 onwards for your home broadband

ACT Fibernet is offering different plans in different cities in India. In Delhi, for instance, there are as many as 6 broadband plans. The entry spec subscription option is priced at Rs 749 per month for 100Mbps speed and 500GB data per month—though another 1000GB is being bundled with all tariff plans. The ACT Platinum Promo costs Rs 999 per month for 150Mbps speed and 1000GB data. The ACT Diamond pack offers 150Mbps speed and 1250GB data per month and costs Rs 1,249 per month. With the Platinum pack, you get Rs 100 cashback per month if you sign up for your Netflix subscription via the ACT website, and the Diamond plan gets you Rs 350 cashback per month. You get the ACT Remarkable plan with 125Mbps speed and 2000GB data for Rs 2,999 per month. The two 150Mbps plans, ACT Exceptional (2000GB data) and the ACT Phenomenal (2500GB data) are priced at Rs 3,999 and Rs 4,999 per month.

The company also has the ACT Giga option in Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad for instance—this offers 1000Mbps, or 1Gbps speeds and 2000GB data per month. This plan also offers Rs 500 per month cashback if you have a linked Netflix subscription.

As part of an ongoing promotion to help work from home users be able to work better, ACT users can log into the official app or their ACT account and upgrade to 300Mbps speed and unlimited data usage till March 31.

Spectra: Rs 949 onwards is what it costs you

Spectra also has different broadband plans for different regions, often dependent on what maximum speed they offer in any given area. For instance, in most regions now, they offer the Spectra Fast broadband plan with 250Mbps speed and 500GB data per month. In case you want to pay for 6 months or 12 months in advance, you get 1000GB data per month instead. Then there is the Spectra Faster plan for Rs 1,599 per month with 500Mbps speed and 750GB data with one month billing, 1500GB data per month with 6 month billing and unlimited data is you pay for 12 months in one go. The fastest 1Gbps plan is called Spectra Fastest and it costs Rs 2,499 per month—1000GB data per month with monthly billing, 2000GB data with 6 months prepaid billing and unlimited data is you pay for 12 months in one go.

In other regions where the Gigabit speeds are still not available, the entry spec plan starts at Rs 949 per month for 50Mbps speed with unlimited data. The Spectra Basic 100Mbps plan is priced at Rs 999 per month with 1000GB data per month. Then there is the Spectra Basic Plus plan at Rs 1,299 per month with unlimited data usage. With all plans, you get some discounts if you pay for 6 months or 12 months in advance.

BSNL Bharat Fiber: Rs 499 per month with daily data plans too

BSNL’s Bharat Fiber broadband plans are quite interesting. The entry spec plan is priced at Rs 499 per month and offers speeds up to 20Mbps with 100GB data. The Rs 599 plan is where the daily data options start—this offers 10Mbps speed with 4GB data per day. The Rs 699 plan offers 10Mbps speed and 5GB data per day. The Rs 749 plan bundles 50Mbps speed and 300GB data. The Rs 777 plan is also offering 50Mbps speeds with 500GB data and the Rs 849 plan offers a slightly higher data limit of 600GB. If you use a lot of data, this is where the plans become interesting for you. Rs 1277 per month gives you 100Mbps speed and 750GB data. The Rs 1299 plan is restricted to 10Mbps but offers 22GB data per day. There are plans going up to Rs 9999 per month depending on how much data you want but the maximum speed you will get is 100Mbps.

MTNL FTTH: Rs 599 onwards only

The MTNL plans for users in Delhi and Mumbai are rather interesting. Assuming you are able to get a connection in your area, you can choose between the Rs 599 plan (100Mbps speed up to 150GB with 50GB free per month for 6 months), Rs 777 plan (100Mbps speed up to 400GB with 100GB free data per month for 6 months), Rs 1111 plan (500Mbps speeds up to 750GB and 250GB free data per month for 6 months) and the Rs 2000 plan that is capped at 500Mbps speed for 1500GB data usage and 500GB free data per month for 6 months.

They now have two 1Gbps plans too. 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.