It took a lot of time and effort to get this connection. In fact, after contacting them multiple times last year and not hearing back, I had given up.
Then my trouble with BSNL worsened and it became almost impossible to get any work done. To be fair, the BSNL linesmen and engineers did whatever they could to restore and stabilize my connection, including installing a new line from the pole to my modem. However, the sewerage system work that has been going on in Mapusa since March 2013 has resulted in many of BSNL's underground cables being cut. Even though they are repaired, multiple joints along the route don't help stabilize the connection.
Around the same time, I met Abdul & Ejaz at Jamsons (a computer shop in Mapusa), who said they could help me get the Ethernet Xpress connection. So, I applied for a new connection by filling a form and paying the setup cost of INR 8,000 - sometime around end-July 2017, and was told to expect the connection after about 3 - 4 weeks.
Ethernet Xpress guys are finally here
After a long wait, on the morning of 3-September-2017, a Sunday, the Ethernet Xpress installation guys called me. They came over, pulled the fiber optic cable and began the splicing process. The splicing equipment failed. They tried to find another one, but couldn't.
Three days later, I called to remind them that my connection was pending. They turned up within 10 minutes with the splicing equipment and completed the job. But... they forgot to get the fiber optic-to-LAN media converter.
So, my connection was still pending.
Finally, on 7-September-2017, the setup was complete. I then configured Ethernet Xpress with my Wifi router and life started to feel a little faster.
Stability of Ethernet Xpress
Initially, I had some issues with partially-loaded websites and some websites not opening at all. This seemed to be a DNS issue and so, on Lovell's suggestion, I registered at OpenDNS and re-configured my router to use OpenDNS IPs.
Since then, websites have been loading consistently and quickly.
Ethernet Xpress Speed
While Ethernet Xpress provides excellent speed (compared to other ISPs in Goa), ranging between 10 Mbps to 25 Mbps, it is not even close to the 100 Mbps speed promised in their plans.
I'm currently on a plan that costs INR 999 (+ tax). This gives me 30 GB of data transfer at full speed; thereafter the speed is capped at 2 Mbps, for the rest of the month.
Their current speed and stability are probably worth the price, but I've still mentioned this point about the speed because I haven't even touched 50 Mbps* (forget 100 Mbps) in the last two months that I've been with Ethernet Xpress.
* I'm not taking into consideration the speed test when connecting to their own server, because this is part of the ISP's network.
I did these tests at different times of the day and different times of the week, connecting to various servers worldwide. Note that the default server that shows up on Speedtest.net is the server closest to you, which happens to be Ethernet Xpress' own server in Panjim :)
|Ethernet Xpress server in Panjim, Goa, India||Link 1 / Link 2|
|Bharti Airtel server in Bombay, India||Link 1 / Link 2|
|SoftLayer Technologies in Amsterdam, Netherlands||Link 1 / Link 2|
|Speedtest server in Toronto, Canada||Link 1 / Link 2|
I filed one report through their online interface late one night, to check if this speed issue could be fixed. They called back the next morning (impressive for a service provider in India. BSNL have never responded to complaints made online.)
Ethernet Xpress also have a toll-free number for support. And I've heard from other users that they usually fix any broken cables with 24 hours.
- The setup cost is high, but so is the fiber optic cable and the equipment they use for the setup, so it's probably justifiable.
- Ethernet Xpress is a good option in areas where BSNL has issues.
- Ethernet Xpress is better than wireless providers, for stability. Idea and Jio keep dis-connecting and re-connecting, even though I have full range (since I live right next to a set of towers.) This disrupts banking logins, FTP uploads, etc.
If you have used Ethernet Xpress, let me know your experience in the comments below.
Update / 5-November-2017: Abdul informed me that Ethernet Xpress plans have been upgraded. My INR 999 (+ tax) plan now gives me 200GB of data transfer at full speed; thereafter the speed is capped at 10 Mbps, for the rest of the month. See the rest of their plans here.