Power Outages and Internet Availability in Chennai, India — By Jennifer Shipp
Asia India South Asia Trips

Power Outages and Internet Availability in Chennai, India — By Jennifer Shipp

Good Internet availability is there in India, but sometimes you have to beg for it.

For us, as people who earn most of our living online, Internet availability is extremely important when we travel abroad. We worried about electrical outages in Chennai because we’d spent 6 weeks in Kathmandu, Nepal two years prior dealing with them every day for 6 to 8 hours each day. But during our two weeks in Chennai at an AirBnB vacation rental, there were only about 8 outages, usually in the early evening and they all lasted less than 30 minutes. In Delhi, the electricity went out both times we were checking into the Holiday Inn near the airport, but they also only lasted a few minutes. No one even reacted to the outages because generators kicked in almost immediately and the electricity always (usually) comes back on.

We stayed at a vacation rental while we were in Chennai and the owner was a friendly man named “Jay” from Hyderabad. He was extremely accommodating and understanding about our Internet needs. When we asked for higher speed Internet, we had an Internet upgrade within 24 hours that was better than anything we could get in our tiny hometown in western Nebraska. I think we paid a little more for a higher speed, but it was affordable, maybe a few bucks.

In contrast, as I write this, we’re stationed in a vacation rental experience in Delhi and our Internet connection is so remarkably slow that I’m not sure I’ll even be able to upload these blog posts to it. And the vacation rental owners seem distant at best, like scam artists at worst. And we’re only going to be here for 5 days, so getting higher speed Internet isn’t going to happen for us here. John was hopeful about finding a Starbucks near our rental to get by for the next few days, but that seems unlikely too. Delhi is not nearly as accommodating or friendly as Chennai. Most of the city, even “upscale” areas (like the one we’re living in right now) are like tiny farming villages.

But that being said, high Internet speeds are available at least in Chennai and Delhi (with a little patience, that is). And power outages aren’t that common. Most hotels and vacation rentals have generators for backup. If you’re traveling and you expect to work remotely from India, rest assured, the resources are available in most areas, most of the time, especially if you’re going to be there long-term.

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