A new ISP called Flair Strip just went live on Twitter four hours ago – and what they’re claiming to offer is like manna from the heavens for broadband deprived/FUP-afflicted India.

India’s internet penetration now is where China’s was seven years ago 🙁 pic.twitter.com/zQSypc8ntG — Jairaj P (@jairajp) March 21, 2014

Here are their first four tweets:
No data cuts, no Fair Usage Policy, no Limits!
We’re putting power back in the hands of the people.
We’re breaking the speed barrier and boldly going where no Indian ISP has gone before.
48 mbps, Unlimited Downloading. This is the least minimum which we deserve.

Does 48 mbps speeds, unlimited for just Rs. 500 sound good to you? With speeds that fast, it would make sense to upgrade to one of those 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers. As for cities they will be rolling out to – Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai have been promised availability on their Tweet stream, “Gujarat and Kerala are in the 2nd phase i.e May 2014.” Seems like Flair Stream is a wireless solution, can’t help but wonder if this is some kind of avant garde trolling/April fool’s joke. We’ve registered our email address on their website and are tracking them on our feed. Stay tuned.

Update: Flair Strip just updated its website. Yes, it was an April Fool’s prank. But one that was trying to tell us something.

We wish

As many of you have already guessed, Flairstrip isn’t real. At its worst it is a too-good-to-be-true promise, at its best it is wishful thinking. The latter is actually why we decided to do this. Because every day we wish for something like Flairstrip to exist.

Flairstrip isn’t breaking the speed barrier and boldly going where no Indian ISP has gone before. Flairstrip isn’t putting power back in the hands of the people. But maybe we, collectively, can.

Within 3 hours of getting the word out, Flairstrip got over 3000 requests for early invites, 250+ Twitter followers, and also got mentioned in a few online publications of note.

An admittedly tame prank like Flairstrip can get so many excited and talking, and dare we say it, hopeful, then maybe it’s something to be asked of our regulators and service providers. We can demand for it, pay for it, and achieve parity with our peers across the globe, maybe even set a few standards here or there. An internet with no data restrictions, no FUP, and no limits isn’t unreasonable. We would all like that to happen.

We’re genuinely sorry for getting so many people’s hopes high over nothing. Our intent was to draw attention to the absence of a service even remotely close to Flairstrip, not get cheap laughs. We know it wasn’t the cleverest prank (it didn’t even survive for more than a few hours so the joke’s kind of on us!). And we know that like us, many of you don’t need reminding of what’s absent and what could be. But we did it anyway.

Our ruse of Flairstrip (a schoolboy anagram of ‘April First’ as people have obviously figured out) ends here and now. We hope we didn’t ruffle too many feathers, but just enough.

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