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  1. Broadband just got broader for me, thanks to the new DOCSIS 3 Cable Modem internet service from Asianet Satellite Communications, available now in Trivandrum and Kochi. Asianet Satellite Communications (not to be confused with Asianet the channel which is under a different management) has been providing broadband internet services since 2000 in Kerala through their Hybrid Fibre Coaxial cable network along with Cable TV services. DOCSIS 3.0 Asianet provides internet service using Cable Modem and uses the DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) standard. They have been using DOCSIS 2.0 for many years now and they have recently implemented DOCSIS 3.0 which allows a much higher maximum throughput. DOCSIS 3.0 achieves that by using multi-channel bonding (using multiple channels simultaneously for download/upload) while DOCSIS 2 cable modems uses single channel only. So a DOCSIS 3 cable modem with 4 bonded channels can provide 4 times the bandwidth of a DOCSIS 2 modem. Along with the DOCSIS 3 modem you need to have the DOCSIS 3 based package subscription also. The service should be available in most parts of Trivandrum and Kochi now. Since they already have the DOCSIS 3 compliant HFC cable across all parts of the city, availability is not much of a problem unlike DSL ISPs who cannot expand here now due to restrictions for laying fibre. For plans above 8 mbps the DSL ISPs have to use fibre-to-home which is available in very few areas only; so Asianet has an advantage here. Packages UPDATE: The new and current packages are listed here: http://www.asianetdataline.com/brdplus.aspx <old package details>The current packages are costlier and that might be the reason why Asianet hasn't even announced the availability of the DOCSIS 3 service and is probably running like a trial now. Their website isn't updated about the DOCSIS 3 service or packages either. Since the current packages will soon be replaced by new cheaper packages, I will post the upcoming new packages for the DOCSIS 3 service: Please note that these new packages are not available yet and it is not known when it will be launched, but might happen within a month or so. The data limits are on the lower side; but with the combo offer (i.e. with Cable TV package) the data limits are reasonable. I would opt for the Xtream 1625 package at Rs.1625 per month with 50 GB data limit per month once the new packages are available. The cable modem cost will be Rs.3500, which when compared to DSL providers is a bit more expensive. The current packages are costlier where I now have 20 mbps speed plan with 25 GB data limit at Rs.2500 per month. However the cable modem was cheaper at Rs.2500.</old package details> Modem The cable modem is a Cisco DPC3825 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0 Wireless Residential Gateway which has WiFi support: The modem configuration page has lots of configurable options and is accessible in browser using the modem IP. For the login details you may have to contact the person who came to install your modem as the default login does not work. Performance / Speed / Reliability Asianet's cable modem internet service (DOCSIS 2.0) does not have a good opinion in general as far as stability is concerned with varying speeds and packet loss. The new DOSCSIS 3 plans might be able to change that perception as the performance has been "good" at least for the 1 week that I have used. The speed has been consistent and for Indian servers I have been able to get almost 20 mbps download all the time. For international (UK, US) servers I was able to get around 16 - 17 mbps download speed most of the time. For upload speed I was able to get 3 - 5 mbps for Indian servers and around 2-3 mbps for international servers. ICMP commands are disabled at Asianet's end and hence ping, trace route, etc. will not work. They will not enable it and the only way to have it enabled is by opting for a static IP address (discussed later). So I have to rely on the results from speedtest.net and pingtest.net to know the ping times: 30 ms - Bangalore 180 ms - Gloucester, UK 250 ms - New York, US Asianet has a web based login process to start the internet session. The web portal also shows you the exact data usage when you login so that you can know the limit left. The "My Account" portal also has detailed usage information. The web based login is not required if you have a static IP address for Rs.2500 per year. I might apply for the static IP for the ICMP support and the loginless connection. However you have to apply with a photo ID proof, etc. which is weird when you have already given those details for the connection! One you are logged in, there is a session check every 10 minutes; which means if there are no PC's or devices connected, it will get logged off automatically. So if you shut down your device for more than 10 minutes you will have to re-login. This is a problem when you are connected to VPN because the network layer changes in your PC to the VPN's network and the session check will not get an acknowledgement. When I contacted Customer Care about it I was told that they will make a change at their side for my connection so that the session will continue to work as long as there is data activity every 20 minutes. VPN worked fine uninterruptedly after this was changed. I accidently found out that using remote DNS (like Google DNS, OpenDNS, etc.) decreases the speed of the connection. When I changed back to Asianet's DNS, the speed was better (by at least 1 - 2 mbps) and the difference was like day and night when testing on PS3 where the download speed when using Google DNS was around 3 mbps and when I changed to Asianet's DNS it jumped to 15 mbps. I don't have a clue on how DNS can make such a difference in the download speed. As far as stability is concerned, it doesn't score well as there were multiple connection dropouts in the past week. The cable modem appears to be very sensitive that it hangs and requires a reboot sometimes. After googling I found that this issue was reported by many (cable modem is popular in US with many providers there) and the reasons could be a problem in the cable modem itself or voltage fluctuation or a problem in the line. I am not yet sure what the problem could be but for the past couple of days there were no connection drops. There were a couple (or 3) outages where the technical support personnel told me that there was an issue in the line and it was rectified within a few minutes whenever I called. So the uptime reliability remains to be a concern and I hope they improve on it as its early days for DOCSIS 3. There are no toll free numbers for customer care, but the local customer support is good enough as you get connected directly to someone when you call and the first person of contact does seem to be able to check most issues. For some issues they will call back and usually does so within a few minutes. Verdict One week usage is not enough to make a verdict especially when DOCSIS 3 was implemented by them recently. Maybe I will be able to give an update after a month or so. But for now the speed is great for what they promise, good responsive customer support and "not bad" uptime reliability (99.5% for the past week). Usually speeds on cable modem (at least for DOCSIS 2.0 with Asianet) can vary a lot when there are too many users at a time. So once the existing DOCSIS 2 users upgrade to DOCSIS 3, it remains to be seen if the same level of service can be maintained by them in the future.