If you’re an Airtel and Reliance broadband user, you’ll probably be slashed with a page saying “This site has been blocked as per instructions from Department of Telecommunication” on file sharing sites like Rapidshare, Mediafire and Sendspace. It was found on this Thursday dawn as users noticed the above error page. However, the secured version of Rapidshare (HTTPS) works just fine. We’re tapping on Airtel and Reliance to comment on this issue, nobody have responded to us so far. Other government-funded providers like MTNL and BSNL don’t seem to have the ban on these websites as of now. Soon after everyone noted there have been some rumors that DoT have sent notice to all ISP to ban these three websites, later on banning almost all the file sharing websites in India, and that ISPs should follow the order within 15 days.
Now all hope is certainly not lost as we and some other folks over at the IBF have noted that all the blocks are being sent over to flagtel.com, which is basically a fiber-optic inter-contiental cable maintained and operated by our very own Reliance. Airtel could have had bought some bandwidth from Reliance as private companies often do – and Reliance could be having technical difficulties with FLAG route, and maybe thats why several other ISP’s are not having these issues.
We fear, your favorite Kool Aid known as the Internet is going to get a bit sour rather than sweet.
Update 21/7/11: There have been some more findings regarding the issue, and it just seems to be a technical issue. MTNL had the same problem which is now resolved. The issue is resolved for many Airtel broadband users from Delhi. While on the other hand, Mumbai’s Fivenet is now facing the same problem from a few minutes, this is chaos gentlemen.
Update 21/7/11 #2: Reports are coming in that the issue has been completely resolved, and the sites mentioned above now open on Reliance, Airtel, MTNL and Fivenet – no other ISP had any type of complaint about any kind of ban. Airtel, Reliance as well as DoT has not commented anything on the issue yet.