Turbonett Fijo: New Rates, New Lies
Enitel's latest Turbonett Fijo page has some new rates and some new truth deregulation. The rates are impressive. Now I just need some facts. I know I won't find them by asking the Enitel people in Estelí.
First, the good news. For residential ADSL service, there are rates up to 4Mb. It used to be 512Kb maximum. The 4Mb rate is only $60.99/month. It says ADSL but doesn't offer the up/down rate ratio. I believe it used to be 4 to 1 but even 8 to 1 would be OK at that rate.
Now for the truth deregulation part. The page says "Acceso a Internet con ancho de banda garantizado." Access to Internet with bandwidth guaranteed. Sounds great but there is no indication of what that bandwidth might be. It is written to mislead you into thinking that if you bought, for example, a 1Mb connection that you would have 1Mb of bandwidth guaranteed. Anyone who understands how ADSL, the electric power grid, telephone service in general or even a sewer system works knows that is not the case.
It would be similar to telling you that there is space for 100 carry-on bags in the overhead bins on an airplane without telling you how many other people you share that space with. Space for 100 with a passenger capacity or 25 is quite different from a plane with a passenger capacity of 300.
In the Internet bandwidth game, the technical term for what we want to know is Committed Information Rate, virtually always abbreviated CIR. What this number tells you is the worst possible data rate. That is, if everyone sharing the one pipe back to the Internet with you is trying to get the bandwidth they bought, how slow can your connection get.
Unlike on the airplane, you don't necessarily know who you are sharing with or how many there are. There might be only three others (extremely unlikely, even if you are paying business instead of residential rates). A more likely number would be in the range of 15 to 63. If you go back to the 1Mb connection, if the total available bandwidth is 1Mb and you are but one of four, your CIR should be 256Kb. But, if you are one of 64, your CIR is 16Kb. And, just to make things more interesting, if the circuit isn't built correctly, there may be no CIR.
There is more than you want to know so here is the for Dummies summary:
- While Enitel is offering some fast ADSL rates at good prices, they may just be overselling the bandwidth more than before.
- Until you can find someone in Enitel who can give you the CIR number, you are just reading more propaganda.