Is AIRTEL 3G slowing your browsing experience ?

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Rishi Kashyap
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Is AIRTEL 3G slowing your browsing experience ?


AIRTEL has been blamed against net neutrality so much that finally their CEO had to make an official statement stating their vision and stand about their company. However recently I found that AIRTEL 3G service is injecting a javascript file on almost all website I browse.

I got deeper into this, specially when my friend told that this website is very slow on mobile. Speed has always been on my priority list for my website. I created my own Social media button, made mobile version of website, use minimum images and removed top ads to make it faster so when someone complained about website speed, I had to do an audit of my website again !

Doing a "view source" of webapges, I found all webpages had a javascript file
inserted in the head section. It confused me as to why will I add this, only to realize that its not me, but my ISP (Internet Service Provider) AIRTEL 3G !

A reverse IP lookup for confirmed the server location to be in Bangalore and belonging to AIRTEL. I tried various other websites too, it was in almost all websites ! I say almost because I did not find the said file in Facebook, Google or Gmail but all blogs, news related websites had this javascript file. I even tested other ISP like UNINOR, BSNL and IDEA and webpages were clean and loading faster. While I am unsure whether it is done on a national basis or only regional, but I tested it in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal region and found webpages being inserted with this file.

The said javascript file was slowing most websites simply because the file did not exist ! As this javascript was inserted inline into the "head" section and since the file is missing on that location the browser defaults to fetching it for some time, never finding it after few seconds, displays the page later, slowing down overall user experience. The process continues on every page load ! On further experimenting I found even the bank portals missing this file. I realized that encrypted pages does not have it ! In such pages data flows between website server and you (your browser) in encrypted format and so middle-man like your ISP cannot eavesdrop in between. Since the ISP cannot know where the </head> tags end, they can never insert that file !


  1. For end users like you
    My friend asked what should he do ? The answer isn't that simple. The problem is to somehow stop that script from executing or the browser trying to fetch that file. A simple solution is to add a browser add-on (extension) and blacklist just that javascript file. The problem is that most add-ons aren't that simple, they block far more things than required. Having said that, simplest extension I recommend is NoScript on Firefox and ScriptBlock on Google Chrome. For Internet Explorer, I recommend, please switch to a better browser !
    I recommend that you can keep the script blocker disabled everywhere and simply blacklist this IP and file. The browser now will never fetch that file. This will also improve your browsing experience in general, specially if you browse on your laptop using your mobile. The problem may still persist in your mobile browsing experience, since most mobile browsers may not support such extension.

  2. For website owners
    There are 2 solutions, first to remove javascript file dynamically. This is a temporary solution! Since the file is added just before the end of "head" tag. You can remove it dynamically using javascript later anywhere near end of "body"var alljs=document.getElementsByTagName('script')
        for (var i=alljs.length; i>=0; i--)
         if (alljs[i] && alljs[i].getAttribute('src')!=null && alljs[i].getAttribute('src').indexOf('')!=-1)
    Second solution is permanent, secure your website / blog. Use SSL / TLS certificates and encrypt all data from your server to end user. SSL certificates may have their own set of technical problems but at least it will be better than a frustrated user, who is thinking that your website is too slow !
I will end this topic now with a hope that AIRTEL is doing this only as some experiment and will discontinue whatever they are doing for the betterment of their users, for net neutrality and for everything beautiful in this world. I also hope, if AIRTEL can explain why they are doing this to any non-secured website, else Indian users including me (who used to be a very satisfied AIRTEL Customer) have other IDEAS too :) !

I also request AIRTEL 3G users if they can "view source" this website using AIRTEL SIM and confirm if they find the said javascript in their region too !Is AIRTEL 3G slowing your browsing experience

Rishi Kashyap | | EDIT | REPLY