I had very high hopes for fast internet connections as we travelled through China and beyond. I have been watching from afar as China has become the world’s fastest growing broadband country. The price of DSL is incredibly low and people all across China have been quickly signing up for the service. In fact, in the near future China will have the most internet users on the planet. 30 days in China have been enough for me to say, however, “Somebody help these people.: They think they have broadband but they don’t. They have some of the slowest DSL connections I have ever experienced. Every time we connect to the internet, I make it a point to test out the speed of the connection. I also use a set of internet products which utilize both upstream and downstream bandwidth. All the connections in China have been miserably slow. The fastest I have witnessed on this trip has been in Utah. Our stop there was at my parents’ house. They were trying out their municipal fiber connection. It always tested between 6-10mb and came with phone and video services. They can tell you about the troubles with both the phone and video service, but the internet connection was fast and fairly reliable. Had we spent more time in Korea I could have imbibed from the world’s fastest service at around 100mb. In our day there, I didn’t have time to find or utilize the service. Australia and New Zealand had moderate service with speeds between 512k and 1.5mb. The downfall for those poor people is their service is metered. Once they have gone over their alloted amount of traffic, they drop down to 56k for the rest of the month. I can’t think of a worse way to treat your customers. Oh yeah, I can: call your service broadband and give them slower than dial-up speeds. Even in the few upscale hotels we stayed at the service was miserable. At our hotel in Guilin the broadband was so slow, 12k, I had to go to a hostel across the street and use their much faster (160k) wireless service. For those who don’t pay attention to the speed of your connection, the hotel was moving at the rate of a dial-up modem from 1992. Everywhere we went the service was about 150k to 250k.The fastest we found was around 256k at the Sheraton in Jiuzhaigou. I was amazed how many things were impacted by these slow speeds. I have a set of things I would like to do with sixintheworld and a couple of other things I would like to get started, but at those speeds everything is a chore.
Slow Internet changes a lot of things. I created sixintheworld to be optimized for broadband. I apologize to our dial-up readers. It isn’t fair, but as the family log, I wanted it to be rich in pictures, video and other multimedia. However, it has been hard to keep up with slow connections in China and the lack of connections in many of the places we stayed in New Zealand and Australia. Those who know me, understand that my optimism knows no bounds and I am expecting better things in Southeast Asia. Cambodia and Laos will be tough, but Vietnam and Thailand have growing broadband and hopefully do not struggle with their service levels as much as China.