I wrote before about my efforts to find a good Internet connection (see Connecting to the Internet). My experience with the government run TOT was laughable. The whole thing was a joke. They had no idea about the special promotion on their web site and despite promising to get back to me they, not surprisingly, never rang.
My next alternative was to try CS Loxinfo – http://www.csloxinfo.com – which we have been using at school for some time. However, what is puzzling, was that school had been paying 6000 baht per month for the last year and that this new promotion was only 1000 baht per month! Not only that, but it was a faster speed. So, what is the difference and how come they didn’t tell the school that there is now a new promotion at a fraction of the price?
So, we rang Loxinfo and asked them what is the difference between the two packages. They replied that “officially” you are not allowed to network (i.e. share) the Internet connection on the cheaper package. But, we asked, how would you know if we are sharing or not? “Well, we don’t. We just trust people not to share the connection on more than one computer.” I see. But, is it actually possible to share on the cheaper package? “Yes, it is possible.” I see. Interesting. Thank you for your time.
Well, that decided that then. I would test out the cheaper (and faster) package first and then if it worked out OK (and we could network the connection with no adverse side affects) then the school would cancel their more expensive package straight away.
Last week, I visited the Loxinfo web site and signed up for the 2048/512 package. This is only 200 baht more expensive than the 1024/512 package. This would then cost me 1200 baht per month. (The school is paying 6000 baht for the 512/256 package from the same company!) I also paid 500 baht extra for a modem router. If I hadn’t done that they would have just given me a free modem. I did consider paying an extra 500 baht for a technician to come and set it up, but as “officially” you are not allowed to network, I decided against it.
The motorcycle messenger finally came yesterday with my modem router and my username and password. After he had left, we managed to get connected in less than half an hour on all three computers in our office network. The speed was actually quite good. Better than the school. However, a web site I found that does speed tests shows that the connection so far isn’t as good as advertised. It seems to be doing an average of 800 Kbps. I am not sure how accurate that is because a different speed test on another web site gives a reading of 1.2 megabits. Faster, but not as fast as what I am paying.
My second problem is the claim that you can use the telephone at the same time as surfing on the Internet. Well, that is sort of true. The phone does ring when I am surfing, but when I pick it up it sometimes disconnects me! Also, if I try to dial out on the phone upstairs, I can do it by I hear the sound of the modem communicating! The strange thing is, the line is clearer the closer you get to the modem. In fact. The telephone right next to the modem can be used as normal! I asked around and apparently this is how it works in Thailand!
Despite these problems, everything else seems to be OK. So, I have advised the school to immediately cancel their expensive subscription and sign up for this cheaper one.