Posted by Haris Gulzar on June 14, 2009
I have had to struggle hard for getting an internet connection at my home. For the last one month, I have only been using dialup internet and don’t really have words to explain how angry and irritated I felt whenever I had to use the dialup internet. And the reason I use the word “struggle” for getting an internet connection is a long story.
For the last 1 year in Karachi, we had a reasonable internet service provided to us (sometimes on and sometimes off) in each of the hostel rooms. Sometimes facebook and youtube were banned and sometimes we didn’t have internet for a day or even two days, but sometimes not only all the sites were made accessible but we also got download speeds of near a 100Kbps. So overall, it was a reasonable internet service.
For the two years before that, when I was working at CambridgeDocs, we had a good internet service, where good means better than reasonable. It was mostly on, and whenever we faced any sort of problems in the internet service, there were enough people to look after it and make sure it was up and running in the minimum time possible. We could usually download a movie in one night, songs within minutes and youtube videos also streamed well. Overall, it was quiet an impressive connection we had at our office.
And for the four years before that, i.e. from 2002 to 2006 when I was doing my graduation from FAST-NU Lahore, we did have internet but… For the last one year or so the internet service was excellent. Although obviously we couldn’t download movies or watch youtube videos, but we didn’t face much problems googling and surfing the web generally. The initial years at FAST were somewhat worse because we had to first get ourselves registered to be able to use internet for a one hour slot, where yahoo or hotmail would normally open in 25~30 minutes. But I guess it was enough for our needs back then. In short, we did have internet for all four years of our stay at FAST.
Now, for the past one month or so, I did not have internet and I felt as if my life had come to a stand still. Although I don’t know if I do much work over the internet but the feeling of having an internet connection itself is quiet a relieving feeling. When I went to find out the available internet services, their packages and rates etc, I first thought Ufone wireless internet was better of all. They claimed unlimited download but then a friend told me that their unlimited actually meant 1.5 GB (I don’t know if it is true or not but that’s what I came to know), then I inquired about PTCL wireless broadband but they only had one package, that of 3.1 Mbps bandwidth and it was out of my budget. Besides, I went twice to the PTCL customer care centre, but the person responsible for dealing in wireless internet services was never present and that made me more annoyed. I also inquired about Worldcall wireless broadband and almost made up my mind to get it, but during filling out the form for new connection, I was told about some conditions that did not made it feasible to get wireless connection from Worldcall. I finally ordered the PTCL DSL and was told that it would take a minimum of 3 days to get the service installed and running on my premises.
This was 5th June when I ordered the PTCL DSL service. On the evening of 10th June, I called the PTCL help line and was informed that my request has been cancelled. Above that, the teller did not know why the request was cancelled, he could only tell me the status of my request. He asked me to go to the nearest telephone exchange to get the reasons of the cancellation of my DSL request (what good was that teller for if I had to personally go to the nearest exchange, PTCL probably can never change). Luck had it for me because I was informed from the nearest telephone exchange that the DSL did not work in my area, and the customer care representative who booked my request didn’t know about it. I was made to wait 6 days to come to know which area doesn’t have the accessibility to PTCL DSL internet service.
This was way more than enough for me. I was not able to stay in touch with friends, stay up to date with current affairs, I hadn’t read a newspaper since almost a month (as Im used to reading online news :S), hadn’t written anything on my blog for long, hadn’t read the blogs I have subscribed to, wasn’t able to apply for my internship, couldn’t check my email and much much more. I have more than 5000 unread items in my Google Reader, more than a 200 unread emails in my inbox, many friend and other requests and a few email messages on facebook and what not.
Now I finally have a cable internet connection. I hope this continues to work good, and I hope I don’t get any excuses now for not staying in touch with friends or not keeping myself updated on current affairs. A few days back I wrote a post titled “Back on track?” because I thought I had wasted a lot of time since I came to Lahore, but I didn’t actually got back on track, I really hope now I get back on track, and I hope that this internet connection stays with me for the time I am here in Lahore. I can only hope, and that’s probably what all of us can do…