How’s Your Internet Access?

THIRD UPDATE, MOVED TO TOP: It’s been two weeks and a half since the quake, and there are reports that the Internet is still screwed up. Here in Fujian, access has become semi-normal – quick enough that I can blog here and surf without much trouble, though I haven’t attempted to download or upload anything bigger than a meg or two. What’s your status in your neck of the woods?

Reporting in so far:
Quanzhou: Meh, ok.
Shanghai: Ditto/suck.
Bangkok: so-so.
Beijing: Ack.
Beijing Wireless: Wheeee!
Nanning: E-Mule OKish, Google bearable, Hotmail slow, Yahoo slower, Rapidshare kaput.
Southern Sichuan: atrocious
Tianjin: Yahoo Mail crawling, iTunes soooo slow,
Nanjing: 50-75% normal (normal being “bottom of the barrel” ADSL)
Korla, Xinjiang: Crap.

The Discussion: 27 Comments

Here in Shanghai, it’s also mixed. Some (North American) sites I can reach at near-normal speeds, others just time out.

If this keeps up much longer, I’m gonna have to get myself some scuba tanks and cable splicing equipment.

January 9, 2007 @ 6:47 am | Comment

Here in Malaysia (KL) it’s okay from around 8:00 am until 3:00 pm, then it’s horrendously slow.

January 9, 2007 @ 10:12 am | Comment

This is Richard – I finally got this site to open but it took a long time. Imagethief open in seconds, TPD takes forever.

I am in back-to-back meetings through Friday night, so I cannot post or comment except very sporadically. And the Internet situation makes surfing a total nightmare – 50 percent of the sites won’t open or take ages.

January 9, 2007 @ 2:50 pm | Comment

Not great here in Bangkok. Can get to most sites without timing out, but downloads are very slow. I’m hearing this from friends throughout the city.

January 9, 2007 @ 3:41 pm | Comment

Never had any real trouble. But then again I really should stop pointing out that China Unicom seems to route pretty much all its traffic away from the trans-pacific cables lest you all sign up for their wireless service and take my (rather pathetic) bandwidth away from me.

January 9, 2007 @ 5:56 pm | Comment

Guangxi-Zhuang capital Nanning, major university network, access to Chinese sites, inzluding Chinese E-mule (downloading movies etc.) OK-ish, Google bearable, Hotmail slow, Yahoo very slow, Rapidshare (both .com and .de) nonexistant.

Strangely using a proxy sometimes makes it possible to access sites much faster, so obviously the real reason is not ONLY in the bloody cable, but probably re-distribution of available space by some (para-)state body.

(And it probably is not about censorship, because why would anyone censor Dutch news or Serbian forum groups?)

Mind you, according to BBC and CCTV9, the morons in charge of fixing the cable said they will not put another one, because “it is not likely to happen again, as earthqaukes are so rare”???!!!

January 10, 2007 @ 2:34 pm | Comment

I’m in Shanghai right now and my access to almost all US internet sites has been suck, whether from my office or the hotel room, and whether through land-line or the CMCC Wi-Fi network. Richard, I envy your access to my blog, because it’s almost impossible for me to access right now.

Slim, I wonder if those few US sites that perform well are ones that are carried by Akamai or other content distribution networks through mirrors in Europe (which has been easier for me to reach) or Asia.

At the moment, the only things that open reliably fast for me are China based sites. Thus I am reduced to getting my news from China Daily. Sigh.

January 10, 2007 @ 2:41 pm | Comment

Just paying a visit. Curiously, my partner is a Chinese lady from Fujian who moved to Australia.

Got your site off The American Street. Interesting. Great to see bloggers getting involved with world affairs rather than blowing their own shrill trumpet.

Internet access will be the least of your worries if George or Olmert attack Iran with nukes.

Will call again! Cheers!

January 10, 2007 @ 2:56 pm | Comment

Worse today in BKK than yesterday.

January 10, 2007 @ 3:25 pm | Comment

Here in south Sichuan, it’s been atrocious, both on CNC at home and China Telecom at work. Speed and reliability have picked up in the last few days, though. Now I can use my non-Chinese POP3 and SMTP from time-to-time, and Google (including Google News) has been viewable, albeit slowly, since soon after the quake. In the last week or so, I’ve been able to get news from Australian websites, which are a lot quicker than US ones. Will, forget China Daily and try the Sydney Morning Herald, or The Australian.

January 10, 2007 @ 4:48 pm | Comment

its still pretty bad here in beijing. not nearly as good as before. for a few days after the quake it as totally useless, but now i can download a few things, and open some websites, but youtube is still hopeless. i was suspecting they used this situation as an excuse to nix it, in favour of some new china-centric based one, sanitized for local viewers and so forth.

January 10, 2007 @ 5:23 pm | Comment

@Serbo-Canadian in Guangxi-Zhuang:

Dude, every time Chinese people find out about your Serbian heritage, do they start talking about bombed embassies?

By the way, I’ve been to Belgrade, and had a wicked awesome time. Can’t wait to go back.

January 10, 2007 @ 7:15 pm | Comment

Actually, very few better educated ones do.

My students are 19-22, so they do not remember that well what happened one third of their lives ago. My colleagues do not discuss politics with me, just as they do not ask about my opinions on their system.

I’m glad you liked Belgrade, it’s not a bad city, though there are at least 15 more beautiful ones in Europe.

BTW, people in Serbia do talk about bombed maternity wards, civilian trains and buses, libraries etc. much more than do the Chinese about that one embassy.

Maybe because Americans murdered just 2 Chinese journalists and more than 2000 Serb civilians, including over 150 children, just in order to put the world’s public eye away from the peewee of one William Jefferson Clinton caught down a silly almost underage intern’s gullet.


January 10, 2007 @ 10:17 pm | Comment

@Serbo etc. etc.

Well, I can imagine people talk about the other bombs that fell a bit more. Belgrade still has a fair number of half-blasted buildings standing around besides the Chinese embassy. I wouldn’t call Monica “almost underaged”, nor do I think it was a “wag the dog” scenario, but whatever. Blowing up hospitals that normal people need to survive just to punish a cut-rate dictator who practically stumbled into power isn’t my idea of a great war plan, but hey, we Americans aren’t known for great war planning, are we? Serbia seemed another notch in an under-recognized track record.

Anyway, what struck me about Belgrade today is that while things are still tough, there seemed a very infectious liveliness to everything. Art, music, dancing – there was a real determination to have a good time even if you had no cash that I enjoyed immensely. This might also have had something to do with the fact that I went there after three years in western China, so there was a bit of a contrast in how people approached “fun”.

January 10, 2007 @ 10:42 pm | Comment

Here in Tianjin the internet is lousy!! I have Yahoo mail, it is extremly slow. Also Itunes is very, very slow. Hard to believe that it is only one cable…..or maybe new filter software was installed

January 11, 2007 @ 12:45 pm | Comment

Aww, I missed the fun…mostly because the TPD is still so darned slow. Service, though, has been better these last few days. It’s still pretty slow during peak hours, but off-peak is much more tolerable. China-based sites, no problem. Towards Australia, it’s normal. Yahoo & Yahoo Mail are almost normal. Google has always been good (thanks for the sellout, guys). Anything to North America is still slow, but while it was 25-50% of normal before, these last few days I’d rate it 50-75%. In Nanjing using China Telecom’s “VNet” dial-up ADSL… near bottom of the barrel service, in other words.

January 11, 2007 @ 4:25 pm | Comment

Here in Xinjiang, the web is crap! Everything is super slow… although things are little bit better when I use a tunnel to a US server. Remind me why I upgraded to Wangtong last month again? Fuck!

January 11, 2007 @ 6:59 pm | Comment

Hey, guys, did you hear about George and his ESCALATION? Did you hear about his PROVOCATIVE attack on an Iranian embassy? Do you think George is a madman, one like Hitler?

Just asking! Sorry to intrude!

January 12, 2007 @ 9:55 am | Comment

I heard. He’s a lunatic. I’ll try to put up a post later tonight.

It’s not like the current Iranian government has much of a high horse to climb up on regarding the seizure of diplomatic personnel (if you are too young to remember what happened in 1978), but in context this is beyond provocative.

January 12, 2007 @ 10:06 am | Comment

yeah, my VPN seems to get priority bandwidth as well.

January 12, 2007 @ 12:06 pm | Comment

Well, no sooner did I get all the whinging out of my system than the Internet goes and speeds up on me the following day. A very well-seeded torrent file was pushing 100kB/s for much of the day, something I rarely saw before the quake. Was everyone out of town on Friday or did anyone else see a dramatic improvement?

January 13, 2007 @ 9:33 am | Comment

Yeah, Our IT company has been rerouting traffic (through our international datacenter servers) for clients all week long. We all did it for our homes, so some slight improvement is noticeable but my iTunes podcast still takes half a day to finish..

January 13, 2007 @ 9:51 am | Comment

I can read, but not post on TPD in Beijing. SO FRUSTRATING! It’s better in the morning and I can get NPR which is great. Anyway, if this post works, I just want to remind everyone that America is supposed to enter the Great Second Depression any day now according to previous predictions. I never got a chance to lay down my wager so to speak.

January 13, 2007 @ 10:12 am | Comment

Pha, I’ve been locked away for an entire week with no phone or Internet access. And I still don’t have much time to post – my new job isn’t like the last one.

I don’t recall anyone ever saying we were headed into “the Second Great Depression” at any moment. I said I expect the dollar to continue to decline and commodities to go up. I said in my “investing” thread that no one would have any idea if our predictions were right or wrong until about six months out. I see the first two weeks activity a very standard “get the suckers into the market” play. Again, let’s come back in six months to see the overall trend; no one predicted the market would go down every week.

January 13, 2007 @ 10:27 am | Comment

I recall what you said very clearly, here it is:

“What an incredible first comment! I am generally in agreement with you, and on some issues passionately so. I believe we are headed for an economic crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen since 1929, and that it’s coming way faster than most of us think (like in, say, within the next 12 weeks or so, at least the first frightening signals).”

(Responding to an article about “the imminent collapse of America”)

January 14, 2007 @ 6:21 pm | Comment

Okay, i may have been over-enthusastic about that comment by Li, but I did say many times in the same and the later thread that we could not begin to make judgements until six months to a year later. About the 12 weeks – that was a rather random number I pulled out of a hat, but I’m still willing to place bets that within 12 weeks we’ll see signs that I was, as always, correct.

January 15, 2007 @ 8:58 am | Comment

Ok. I think we’ll just leave it then. I don’t know how to create any specifics about a wager since the economy is such a complex issue. I basically just wanted to counter the ridiculous stuff written by Li in that post, and I guess you took my point.

January 18, 2007 @ 9:51 am | Comment

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