Review of Ethernet Xpress - an internet service provider in Goa

Warren Rodrigues posted on 01 November 2017

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.

I posted this video and some friends recommended giving Ethernet Xpress another shot.

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

Over the last 1.5 years, I've noticed that the speed you get with Ethernet Xpress fluctuates depending on the IP address you're allotted. The IPs starting with 103.xx.xx.xx have the best speeds, ranging from 50 Mbps up to 100 Mbps. The IPs starting with 36.xx.xx.xx range usually don't go above 40 Mbps. And the 10.xx.xx.xx series are the worst - can't even watch videos in HD if you get this IP.

The IP address you're allotted changes frequently and mostly every time you restart the modem. Note that speeds need to be measured by connecting a LAN cable to the modem; not over WiFi. You'll find a historical list of my speed tests in a table below.

I'm currently on a plan that costs INR 999 (+ tax). This gives me 30 GB 200 GB of data transfer at full speed; thereafter the speed is capped at 2 Mbps 10 Mbps, for the rest of the month.

Their current speed and stability are 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. The speed has improved since 2017, as per the table below.

* I'm not taking into consideration the speed test when connecting to their own server, because this is part of their ISP's network.

SpeedTest.net reports

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 :)

Date Ethernet Xpress
Goa, IN
Bombay, IN Amsterdam, NL Toronto, CA
31-Oct-2017 12.21Mbps 11.20Mbps 10.67Mbps 9.71Mbps
01-Nov-2017 57.29Mbps 30.05Mbps 22.12Mbps 20.81Mbps
31-Jan-2018 39.56Mbps 52.17Mbps 37.58Mbps 4.68Mbps
09-Feb-2018 94.01Mbps 91.84Mbps 84.69Mbps 69.60Mbps
05-Jun-2018 69.86Mbps 27.97Mbps 11.16Mbps 14.53Mbps
12-Jun-2018 94.95Mbps 77.80Mbps 31.82Mbps 16.04Mbps
01-Dec-2018 * 94.03Mbps 40.37Mbps 49.12Mbps 59.08Mbps

* New report. I'm going to try and post SpeedTest results whenever I get a chance, so we can track improvements or degradation of the ISP.
I use the first server that pops up for a city. The ISP / server name is shown on the result page.

 

Support

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.

Final Opinion

  • 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.

 

UPDATES

UPDATE: 05-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.

UPDATE: 31-January-2018
Ethernet Xpress may cut off once or twice a day for a few minutes; usually not longer than 5 minutes each time. Most people wouldn't even notice this, but I've been keeping track of my modem logs. However, in the last few days, I've noticed that these cuts have been increasing in number and duration. Here are partial logs for the last 3 days:

Show / Hide log table

29-01-18 10:14:44 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
29-01-18 10:19:07 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:04:23.
29-01-18 12:33:10 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
29-01-18 12:35:26 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:02:16.
29-01-18 13:55:02 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
29-01-18 14:00:18 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:05:16.
29-01-18 14:15:24 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
29-01-18 14:22:52 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:07:28.
29-01-18 14:59:26 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
29-01-18 15:02:46 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:03:20.
29-01-18 17:43:03 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
29-01-18 17:47:26 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:04:23.
29-01-18 18:10:19 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
29-01-18 18:16:58 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:06:39.
29-01-18 18:26:11 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
29-01-18 18:30:40 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:04:29.
     
30-01-18 17:29:12 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
30-01-18 17:32:03 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:02:51.
30-01-18 18:41:29 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
30-01-18 18:50:43 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:09:14.
     
31-01-18 9:50:38 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
31-01-18 9:57:57 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:07:19.
31-01-18 10:59:51 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
31-01-18 11:07:22 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:07:31.
31-01-18 11:24:29 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
31-01-18 11:30:57 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:06:28.
31-01-18 11:34:28 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
31-01-18 12:10:11 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:35:43.
31-01-18 17:13:41 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
31-01-18 17:20:49 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:07:08.
31-01-18 17:31:38 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
31-01-18 17:37:58 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:06:20.
31-01-18 17:56:00 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
31-01-18 17:56:10 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:00:10.

Their internet service was down for 35 minutes today. And I couldn't get in touch with their support team. I have recommended EthernetXpress to many friends over the last few months; and I'm sure a lot of users have contacted them after reading this blog post, since this page ranks on the first page for "Ethernet Xpress". Is this the kind of service we should be expecting from EthernetXpress in the future?

UPDATE: 09-February-2018
After over a week of seamless internet, we had a 17 minute downtime this afternoon. On the bright side, my speeds seem to have improved and are close to 100 Mbps (see speedtest.net reports above.)

Show / Hide log table

08-02-18 13:55:24 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
08-02-18 14:13:11 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:17:47.

UPDATE: 10-April-2018
More downtime this month, but I did receive SMS messages from EthernetXpress, informing subscribers about the issues.

Show / Hide log table

05-04-18 14:58:31 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
05-04-18 14:58:41 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:00:10.
05-04-18 15:16:33 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
05-04-18 15:16:43 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:00:10.
05-04-18 15:20:30 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
05-04-18 15:20:40 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:00:10.
05-04-18 15:29:28 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
05-04-18 15:46:19 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:16:51.
05-04-18 17:51:36 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
05-04-18 18:36:44 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:45:08.
     
06-04-18 16:32:17 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
06-04-18 17:08:26 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:36:09.
06-04-18 17:54:29 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
06-04-18 17:55:53 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:01:24.
06-04-18 18:12:30 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
06-04-18 18:34:24 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:21:54.
     
07-04-18 16:51:32 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
07-04-18 17:26:50 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:35:18.

UPDATE: 26-June-2018
Not too much downtime this month, even with the rains. Just a 1-hour downtime on 12-June, which I think is acceptable.

Show / Hide log table

12-06-18 13:39:15 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
12-06-18 13:42:51 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:03:36.
12-06-18 13:53:30 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
12-06-18 14:53:48 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 01:00:18.
     
16-06-18 11:13:33 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
16-06-18 11:13:43 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:00:10.
     
20-06-18 11:34:40 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
20-06-18 11:34:51 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:00:11.
20-06-18 13:20:20 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
20-06-18 13:20:31 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:00:11.
     
23-06-18 21:08:27 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
23-06-18 21:09:01 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:00:34.
     
26-06-18 13:53:33 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
26-06-18 13:59:25 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:05:52.
26-06-18 15:00:12 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
26-06-18 15:06:25 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:06:13.

UPDATE: 19-August-2018
Ethernet Xpress connection went down for almost 2.5 hours on 16-Aug-2018 and for another 2.5 hours on 18-Aug-2018. This downtime was confirmed from multiple locations in Mapusa, Thivim and Anjuna. On 18-Aug, after the connection was restored (at 10:33am), I received 2 SMS messages from Ethernet Xpress - one (at 10:50am) informing me that 'the connection will be down for several hours as all the main servers are down', and another (at 10:52am) informing me that 'the server issue is resolved' :S

At 10:27am, I dialed the call center on 1800-266-4986 and chose service on the IVR. I was caller number one; but they didn't connect me to a human. After 3 minutes, I was informed that they're busy, have made note of my number and will call me back. I dialed again and chose sales on the IVR. They usually answer the sales calls quicker than service. Again, I was caller number one. After some 2 minutes 30 seconds, I was given the same information - that they made note of my number and will call me back.

At 06:00pm, I received a call from +91-832-663-7003. The person didn't mention that they were calling from EthernetXpress, but started with, "I received a missed call on this number. May I know the query, sir?"
I asked, "Where are you calling from?"
They reply, "From Porvorim." This seems very shady. Why can't they just say they're calling from Ethernet Xpress?
I then specifically asked if they were calling from Ethernet Xpress, to which they replied, 'Yes, express.'
I asked about the downtime; they said it was a 'major' issue. I asked if it is expected to go down again. They said, 'No, no, no, no, no. It's stable now.'

I have to try and believe that the major issue is now stable :)

Show / Hide log table

15-08-18 18:00:25 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
15-08-18 18:01:51 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:01:26.
     
16-08-18 13:08:14 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
16-08-18 14:20:59 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 01:12:45.
16-08-18 14:32:12 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
16-08-18 15:42:55 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 01:10:43.
16-08-18 15:45:16 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
16-08-18 15:49:18 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:04:02.
16-08-18 22:47:10 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
16-08-18 22:47:20 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:00:10.
     
17-08-18 13:57:20 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
17-08-18 13:57:30 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 00:00:10.
     
18-08-18 7:55:04 WAN Connection: Fail to connect with some issues.
18-08-18 10:33:09 WAN Connection: WAN was restored in 02:38:05.

Ethernet Xpress, you guys really need to get your communication issues sorted out. When there is an issue with the connection, consumers need to be kept updated. I understand that there are a million things that can go wrong with a network connection, but leaving consumers in the dark, without any sort of update and refusing to answer the phones in your call center isn't very professional. If you don't have the capacity to answer 100s of calls, create and maintain a 'Network Status' page on your website, or post updates to a Twitter handle. As of right now, your communication is similar to a Govt department, rather than a private establishment. Sort this out and you'll be on top of the ISP game, in Goa.

UPDATE: 23-August-2018
Malware infection in the Ethernet Xpress network. Too long to post as an update, so here's a separate post about it.







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