The Skinny on DSL


First of all, i have to apologize for the delay…last few days Ive been sort of out of it..but nevertheless,I am back! (no, not in the Terminator voice..)

I’ve gotten quite a few emails asking me about the latest entrant into the ISP fray, this little company known as Maxcom. ( Guess what! Im a maxcom customer…and they ahvent paid me a cent for this post…(actually no one pays me for my posts..which is why I can say what I want..and instill fear in IT companies!! just kidding)

Advertising a great deal, a free modem and a 128k connection for Rs 1800 month, after a little checking, I decided to dump my useless Worldcall connection (which was worse than dialup btw) and try out .Though now alot of my peers tell me that Worldcall has gotten a lot better…my take is since a lot of people dumped them, that reduced the network clogging and server crashes, lol :D. The one thing i learned from the worldcall experience : never get an internet connection from a company that makes its money by selling cable TV. Stick with an ISP, get the one that’s 20% more expensive , and the service will live up to your expectations.

So how has the “Maxcom” experience been so far ? I would have gone with cybernet, which I think is the best ISP in Pakistan really, but they didn’t give me the free modem and I didn’t feel like dishing out 6000 rupees for one. The modem i got from though looked very used, and doesnt do more than 10 mbps, which means its also old. No matter, the connection itself is stable, and for the last 2 months or so I’ve only had to reset my modem twice… and gotten a stable 11k/sec down min. at all times… all for RS 1800/month. Not too cheap, but well worth the service. Not bad at all, as long as keeps it quality this good, and cybernet still charges for modems, I’ll stick with 🙂 Try it out, tell me what you think.. they have a slick website too.

A note on broadband in Pakistan:

Broadband in Pakistan, remains mostly a pipe dream, with companies advertising measly connection speeds as “broadband” and unlimited Internet. The truth is that as long as PTCL does not reduce bandwidth rates, and the ISPs are forced to pass those savings onto customers, we as consumers will never get real broadband at large. At a time when the rest of the world is moving to Wi-Fi in Parks and skyscrapers and where a 1.5 mbps downlink to a home user is common, Pakistanis are still paying out of their noses for 128k connections, and without broadband we are chugging in 3 wheeled wheelchairs while the rest of the world is making the sprint with Nike’s on.


9 thoughts on “The Skinny on DSL

  1. O.H.

    Ah. Comments are finally open.

    The web address is

    I think their website is fantastic. Great User Experience, and timely wit all over which makes the browsing experience even better. The rates could be lower though.

    I have lots of say about broadband growth in the country, most of which I will reserve for another time. Here, I wanted to comment on the ‘bandwidth rates’ excuse.

    Yes, bandwidth rates are certainly very high. When the 3 (yes, 3) new International POP providers come online things may change (one of them did come online last week)

    However, bandwidth has often been quoted as 25% of an ISP’s cost structure. I’ve always believed that they should be able to take out enough costs from the other 75% to offer lower rates for consumers.

    Not every ISP has identical advertising, customer care, operational and planning costs. Not every ISP have an identical coverage footprint to manage. Not every ISP has the same volume of subscribers on which to disperse overheads. Not every ISP have the same data-center architecture. The big boss of every ISP gets paid a different salary.

    Yet every ISP has identical rates. Not even similar, identical !

    I think a committed ISP should be able to take out enough costs from the functions above that the price points can be brought down. Well, unless DSLAMs are 74.99% of the cost structure.

    I often feel that blaming bandwidth is just a smoke-and-mirrors approach for ISPs that are justifying high margins.

    Cybernet just invested close to $25MM on upgrading their network — in the few years they have been operational, did they really have so much in the bank? Coffee for thought.

    Kudos to MBL ( in Isb for reducing their rates as their volumes have grown, despite becoming a 24×7 office.

  2. i havent yet heard of any major corporate customers using maxcom but i think they have made some inroads. corporate customers in the ISP world belong to the incumbent leader, ie cybernet. however wont hurt to just call and ask them where they have installed their service…

  3. I signed up for maxcom internet 128 kbps package earlier this month, the people had been very helpful in setting up the dsl cable and coordinating with ptcl guys to sort out my line noise problem, unlike the author of this review, i received a brand new modem from Shiro (some Chinese brand I think) that supports 26Mbps for dsl

    I was receiving a steady 13K on the shared 128k, but a few days back I noticed that the speed had dramatically increased, a quick test at confirmed it, i got 220 kbps download and 89 kbps upload, in the test, on visiting the maxcom site I learned that the prices had been dropped and I was now setup for 256kbps connection

    the speed has increased to around 25-27 kbps (single connection browser download) and browsing is pretty fast

    overall I’m quite satisfied with the service, it has gone down only once, but that was quite late at night, it was working the other day.

    the chinese modem has a little issue of hanging up sometimes, so its just a matter of rebooting the modem

    I especially like the download speed considering that its a shared connection between 5 users, i really hope for a further decrease in price, cant wait to try their 1 mbps line!

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