You know I’m living in this country called Sri lanka, its small but located on a fine place of world map which makes it most ideal place for submarine cable connections and to place internet data centers to serve the whole Asia Europe and USA by a equal amount of latency, currently this spot is held by Singapore. See the map which i found online when searching for current submarine cable maps below ( click to zoom ) , you can clearly see the advantage of placing a data center and submarine cable exchange on here.
But unfortunately this is not happening now, Government is spending millions of dollars to send satellites for no apparent use. And the one and only cable internet provider which is government owned Sri Lanka Telecom just has mere 19Gbps international bandwidth and they are boasting that they have hundreds thousands ADSL subscribers.
Can you even believe that the one and only cable internet provider in the country only got 19gbps capacity? And I suspect Mobitel which is the fully owned subsidiary of Sri lanka telecom also shares this same backbone, and its the second largest mobile network in the country which also got more than 250,000 mobile broadband customers.
Sri Lanka telecom has provided unlimited ADSL connections since 2004 ( if not before that ), which was true unlimited at speeds from 512kbps to 4mbps, I have got my ADSL connection 4 years ago which was the 512kbps unlimited package for around $25 including tax that time, but more than a year ago I have switched to the 4mbps unlimited line which was the biggest package out there at the time for like $100 including tax, believe me that’s lots of money for a person in Sri Lanka and I got it because I need that kind of bandwidth on some occasions when I have to move data of my servers and take backups and such,
But like after 6 months which I got my connection SLT started to offer limited packages ( ridiculous limits like 25GiB at 8mbps) at higher bandwidth up to 16mbps because of their internal network upgrades, and about 2 months after, the unlimited package information has been removed from the company web site and old unlimited users started to complain that SLT has capped their speeds to like 64kbps because they have used more than 25Gibs with their 512kbps unlimited line, and shortly after a SLT’s internal document leaked to outside which was a excel database with list of users ( with their DSL username ) who were classified as heavy users to put limits on, which was crazy and there weren’t any official information
I mostly use under 100Gibs with my *true* unlimited 4mbps line, It seemed like didn’t had any limits until yesterday. and there is a usage meter to check the usage of connection, I check it sometimes just to see how much data I consumed each month, but since about 2 months the usage meter didn’t worked and it said “user not available” when I tried to login, but hey I just check it for lols, I didn’t bothered the inability to login at all, but since yesterday my connection got suddenly capped at around 512kbps, and even that was not consistent, I couldn’t even load Google, I had to keep hitting the reload button to load web sites, This definitely looked like a problem at S:T’s end, even though I knew that they were limiting connections, I remember I didn’t even used 50GiB’s this month, So I decided to call them to inform about the trouble
The lady on other side asked my username and after about 2 minutes on hold she said, you have used about 136GiB’s of data and because of that they had to consider me as a heavy user so they capped my connection, I have told her that I never used that amount of data and I said that I couldn’t even log in to usage meter, she said the way we need to enter the user name on the usage meter has changed and told me the new way, Arguing about these unlimited matters are worthless with these call center people and so I decided to cut the call and check my usage meter, and I was able to login with the way she said. And yes my usage was 136GiB’s and I was surprised until I saw the port IDs listed,
Usage meter shows the port names ( on the DSLAM ) and I have found out that there are 4 other different names showing up. This means someone else is using SLT ADSL with my user name and password, And this has caused this over usage. I have immediately changed my password ( previous one was the default password given to me by SLT ). Anyone cant blame me for not changing my passwords all the time, Its just supposed to connect to the unlimited internet line, My account details were exposed to other people by brute forcing or internal leaks. I’m not responsible for these. This shouldn’t be designed this way on first place. They should have designed the system to bind the user names to the phone number or the port, so these kind of things wont happen.
With these information on hand, I went to regional SLT office and met the assistant manager because manager wasn’t there. First she asked me my user name and after seeing 136GiB as my usage, she said “oh its 136Gib that’s a lot” well with 4Mbps unlimited line I could even use 500GB no one should complain right, And I explained that this isn’t my problem as some other people were accessing with my username. She seemed like understood the facts and offered me 5Gib of extra space until end of this month with normal 4mbps speeds. And it only makes me angry to talk about these matters, SLT never officially publish that there are limits for old accounts. They are taking advantage of their monopoly on the industry.
As the one and only government owned cable network, they should allow other ISP’s to take use of their cables and put their DSLAM’s on SLT’s network like whats happening on USA and most of other countries, We all know that its nearly impossible for other cable companies to enter the market by covering the whole country again with their cables. The whole thing should be changed or Sri lanka will never be a information center like the government plans to be. Spending millions to launch satellites just wont benefit the people, As a telecommuter I cant work like I used to, until my quota resets this month end. I cant even load Gmail without reloading it about 5 times.
This isnt just me see the petition against these matters here ( currently signed by 2755 people ) – http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/sri-lanka-telecom-plc-provide-reasonable-broadband-service
Sri Lanka telecom is trying to squeeze the whole customer base in to their mere 19Gbps backbone and they are doing it by limiting the usage by ridiculous limits like 25GB at 8mbps, ( it gets even more funny as the 25GB quota is given as 20GB peak and 5GB off peak ) and the verdict is they cant provide the connections like they used to on 2004, technology supposed to develop with time right? For people who depends on internet, they have screwed us, And now I have another point to hate this country and its government!
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