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Phuket Live Wire: Choosing the right internet landline

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Live Wire: Choosing the right internet landline | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: In my last Live Wire column I talked about the three general types of internet connections available in Phuket: landlines, wireless and satellite. This week I’ll explain how to find the right landline. Next week I’ll tackle wireless.

The most important point to understand about landlines is that they’re changing all the time. Two years ago, 3BB had the best landlines, almost without exception. Since then, 3BB has fallen way down the list.

One year ago, TOT announced its Fiber Optic service – with an extravagant party seemingly emphasizing their breathtaking prices.

At the outset, the TOT Fiber Optic service was terrible, with constant blackouts and a snail’s pace throughput, even on good days. Since then, though, the prices have gone way down and the service has vastly improved.

Two points to keep in mind. First, as I’ve mentioned several times in the past month, the amount you pay for an internet line has almost no correlation with how fast the line runs internationally.

Second, the very best service today may be moribund next month, and absolute rubbish a year from now.

It isn’t just a question of one company offering a whiz-bang new product, or another installing lightning fast servers. It’s also a question of deteriorating service. Internet Service Providers that don’t pay the money for bandwidth to keep up with demand get worse and worse. Both innovation and stagnation come into play.

So, realizing that any advice I give today may be suspect in two months, and demonstrably wrong next year, what can you do?

The answer – as you’ve probably guessed – is to look at what other people are getting, and how much they’re complaining, on PhuketInternetSpeed.com. It’s crowd-sourcing at its finest. Go to the Search page and look for your location, or look for the Internet packages that interest you. If you’re good at Excel, download the file and check for yourself.

Looking at the reported speeds for the past four months, it’s apparent that the TOT Fiber 2U service is out ahead of almost every alternative, with international download speeds in the seven to 13 Mbps range.

3BB, CAT and the Cable companies are quite slow, averaging 2 Mbps or less, although the 3BB 10 Mbps and 12 Mbps lines are delivering 3 to 4 Mbps. True’s and TOT’s ADSL lines are around 3 to 6 Mbps, with True’s DOCSIS 20 Mbps Cable around 6 Mbps and TOT’s AirMax WiNet at 3 to 4 Mbps.

Email me if you’d like a copy of the spreadsheet with all of the details (larger graphic here).

Right now, if I were shopping for a landline, I’d head over to TOT and see if they have Fiber Optic 2U 10 Mbps (1,400 baht per month) in my area.

If not, or if I wanted to save some baht, I’d see if they have the AirMax WiNet 5 Mbps package, or the standard ADSL 6 Mbps package (both of which cost 600 baht per month).

If I couldn’t get any of those, I’d go to True and see if they have DOCSIS in my area (1,300 baht for nominal 20 Mbps, 700 baht for 10 Mbps).

As a last resort, I’d spend the extra money for 3BB 10 Mbps service (1,490 baht per month).

That’s what I would do this week. Next week may be an entirely different story.

When you go, make sure you know the exact location of your house (Streets of Phuket directory or Google Map will help). If you have a work permit, or a Thai ID card, take it.

If you aren’t Thai, and don’t have a work permit, it’s best to take a Thai national with you to act as guarantor for the line: if you skip town, your guarantor is on the hook to pay for it.

Not everyone in Phuket has a landline and many people need internet on the move, so next week I’ll look at the different wireless connections and show you how to pick the best one for your situation.

Then, the following week, I’ll give you a few tips about signing up for service.

If you aren’t yet reporting your speeds on PhuketInternetSpeed.com, please drop by and sign up! It’s free, only takes a few seconds, and the results help everybody figure out what’s working and what’s not worth the effort.

Remember that all of the data – more than 22,000 reported sightings at this point – is immediately available to anybody who wants to download, look at or fiddle with the results.

Also remember that the Internet Service Providers are watching the reports.

Live Wire is Phuket Gazette columnist Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket. Follow him on Twitter: @PhuketPC or visit his free computer clinics at Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes.

To see what Woody’s up to in the international press, and to keep on top of the latest patches and problems with Windows and Office, drop by AskWoody.com.

— Woody Leonhard

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Thailand

Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Airways to resume flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

After nearly 9 months on the ground due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with problems balancing their accounts, Thai Airways will resume flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai as well as Bangkok and Phuket later this month. The flights will start back up on Christmas day.

Flights from Bangkok to the 2 key tourist provinces have been grounded since April 1. Starting December 25, the airline will run 3 flights a week on both routes. A source told the Bangkok Post that the new schedules will run until at least February 28.

Thai Lion Air, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, VietJet Air and Bangkok Airways have returned to the domestic skies since July and slowly adding frequency to their routes.

In addition to resuming the domestic flights, the Thai Airways is relaunching some international flights from January 1 to March 27 including weekly flights to Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Sydney, Seoul, Manila, Taipei and Osaka. Flights from Bangkok to Tokyo will be available 3 times a week and flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong will be available every day.

Thai Airways has been tackling bankruptcy throughout the lockdown and trying to make up for more than 300 billion baht in losses. Since many flights were suspended due to travel restrictions, Thai Airways has tried to make money by business ventures on the ground, like a pop-up restaurant serving in-flight meals and selling off unwanted equipment from their warehouse. There also disposing of much of their older fleet, including all of their Boring 747-400s.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments

Maya Taylor

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97 police officers investigated for fiddling Covid-19 payments | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.newsbeezer.com

97 police officers, from 41 police stations, are currently being investigated for an alleged scam involving Covid-19 payments meant for officers who worked extra shifts during the crisis. The case was assigned by national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk in November, when it came to light that some officers may have fraudulently claimed allowances meant for others.

In one incident, an officer responsible for transferring extra payments to police on the southern island of Phuket transferred the money to his own accountant instead. At the time, the transfer was dismissed as a mistake (in his favour), with the officer in question receiving a warning, and payments then made to the qualifying officers.

Wissanu Prasatthong-Osot from the National Internal Affairs Police says the investigation should reach a conclusion within the next 10 days.

“The result of the investigation should be ready in 10 days. Currently, 97 officers in 41 police stations ranging from non-commissioned to generals are under investigation for being involved in the swindle. The bureau aims to provide justice to all policemen involved. After the investigation concludes, the victims will receive their full allowance, while the offending officers will be punished under the law and disciplinary standards.”

Nation Thailand reports that a full list of alleged offenders has been sent to Suwat, with Wissanu promising that none will escape prosecution.

“The National Police chief had also ordered the transfer of offending officers at the commander and sub-commander levels out of their areas as per the investigation procedures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce to propose Guangzhou-Phuket tourism route | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77 kaoded

A tourism route from Guangzhou, China to Phuket could help the island province recover from the recession brought on by the pandemic and lack of foreign travel, according to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The president of the organisation, Narongsak Puttapornmongkol, says they plan to submit a letter proposing the route under a travel bubble scheme to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce is proposing a travel bubble with around 20 cities in China with no recent coronavirus infections and considered to be at a low risk of spreading the virus. Travellers from Guangzhou recently entered Thailand on the new Special Tourist Visa. It was the second flight of international tourists since travel restrictions were imposed in late-March.

“We believe that the Travel Bubble and the quarantine reduction will resolve the tourism business, which is a huge economic opportunity to recover.”

Once a vaccine is widely available, Narongsak suggests that those who wish to Thailand could also present their vaccination certificate or examination reports from the place of origin. He adds that the mandatory state quarantine period is likely to be reduced.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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