September 08, 2011 11:07 Filed in: Personal
About a week ago, I moved into a new apartment, here in Shanghai. I should say, I moved into a real apartment, since the place I lived before was really more of a business complex with far more offices than living residents. Just this morning they hooked up 10Mbps internet in my room. The actual result I get from speedtest.net is quite a bit faster, but I am not complaining. It is smoking fast. This makes me think about how things are always changing. When I left California, 3Mbps was the fastest available. Warner Cable was about to roll out 6Mbps the very week I was moving on. Things have come a long way in some places, but not so much in others.
When I went to the Philippines, 2Mbps was the fastest offered in my area. It is likely the fastest one can get in most places outside of the financial district of their capital city. Eventually, one of the companies began to offer 12Mbps, but it was outrageously expensive and only in a limited area. When I went to Korea, however, I experienced the fastest internet in the world. The big drawback there, though, was that WIFI was not at all popular. People's cell phones were faster than WIFI so why would places carry it? Only in a few coffee shops could I work on my site, or do anything internet related from my actual computer, where everything is Mac based.
When I arrived in China, 2Mbps was the order of the day, even in Shanghai, arguably the most advanced city here. Some companies offered 4Mbps, but it was severely overpriced. Of course, I mean overpriced here, since standard internet service is about $100 USD per year. Things didn't remain that way for long, though, Soon there were rumors floating around the net of 10Mbps being offered by the largest provider here. It was available only in limited areas when I first heard of it, but now it already seems to be common. The price is not bad either, being about $300 USD per year. I also noticed, when I signed up, that they have a 20Mbps package as well. Maybe I'll think about that later when the novelty of 10Mbps fades. After all, even though it is nowhere near as fast as in Korea, where you could stream HD movies with little effort, I never actually experienced doing any actual work on my computer at those speed, so I am not missing anything.
Once, while traveling on the elevated highway, I saw a billboard for 56Mps service here in Shanghai. That is the same speed as is offered in Japan. I suspect it will not be long before we see speeds matching Korea here. Of course, Korea is talking about rolling Gigabit speeds next year.
The only drawback to the service I have now compared to the service I had living in the business complex, is that in that place, the upload was faster, a lot faster actually. This was a huge plus when uploading huge videos to my store. I guess I will have to learn just how much patience is a virtue if I need to upload another multi-gigabyte video to my website.
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