After many a pestering call and almost two months of waiting, I finally have BSNL's DataOne broadband connection. At 256Kbps it is hardly that "broad" a band, but it is so much better than the old dial-up connection as well as those peddled by most of the competing service providers! BSNL is owned by the Indian government and used to suffer from the usual red-tapism and apathy. In recent times however, it has improved vastly and has become quite competitive with the private telecom operators. By the way, the main reason I went with BSNL instead of the private operators was that most of them used to actively block outgoing connections to several network ports (including tcp/6667 for IRC) in the name of "security" while BSNL does not (so far) have any such restrictions. What's the point of an always-on broadband connection if you can't even chat? Another very cool thing about BSNL's package is that you get a Huawei SmartAX MT880 ADSL modem-cum-router that has a built-in firewall and is rather cheap at Rs 2000/- for outright purchase. All you need is an Ethernet card. At the moment, the private operators are nowhere close to giving such a deal.