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Phuket Live Wire: Finding your “True’ internet speed

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Phuket Live Wire: Finding your “True’ internet speed | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: I’ve received email from all over the world as a result of the ‘Bang for the Baht’ chart that Khun Roger and I put together for the August 27 Live Wire in the Phuket Gazette.

The emails I received fall into three broad categories.

Some people expect to be in Phuket shortly – either moving here or taking an extended holiday – and they desperately want to know if they’ll be able to get good Internet connections here.

Some people live in Phuket and they’re fed up with their current Internet Service Provider (ISP). They want to know if they can get a better, faster, more reliable line – that’s cheaper, if possible.

The third group calls into question the whole method of measuring and reporting on internet speeds, often citing other speed tests that show their line is blazing fast. Let me address their questions first.

All of the ISPs in Phuket want you to trust the speeds measured by either (1) speedtest.net or (2) any site that uses technology from a company called OOKLA. There’s a reason why.

Reader DB wrote to me: “I was consistently getting low speeds on my True 6 Mb line. I called True and had their engineer come to my house to check. As he couldn’t explain the discrepancy between what they use as their reference (speedtest.net) and the internet speed test you use on PhuketInternetSpeed.com, he referred me to their Bangkok support center. In the end their support looked at both and their advice was: “Please check on speedtest.net only, as our connection speeds appear to be normal on that one.”

DB sent me the screen shot you see on this page to illustrate the following point: while the PhuketInternetSpeed.com test showed downloads from Los Angeles at about 1.6 or 1.7 Mbps, the True-favored speedtest.net shows 7.5 Mbps from LA – four or five times as fast.

There’s a reason why True likes Speedtest.net: it is cached by all of the ISPs in Phuket. The speeds reported are not international speeds – they’re domestic. Even if the speedtest.net site says it’s testing to Los Angeles, in fact it’s pulling data from Bangkok.

Let me show you how I know that the speed reported is domestic. In the screen shot here, the Ping Time to Los Angeles comes in at 26 ms. Ping Time is the time for a single, small packet of information to travel from a computer in Phuket to a computer in Los Angeles and back.

The distance from Phuket to Los Angeles is approximately 8,300 miles. A round trip is 16,600 miles. Divide by 26 milliseconds and the packet must have traveled at 2,300,000,000 miles per hour. The speed of light is 186,000,000 miles per hour.

So either (1) True is caching the speedtest.net site, or (2) True engineers have found a way to make an electrical signal travel 12 times faster than the speed of light. Somehow, I find the second option a bit hard to swallow.

I wrote about caching in the June 3 Live Wire, which you can read at is.gd/xEQg6R. There’s nothing wrong with caching. It isn’t cheating. It’s a way for ISPs to give you good international service, without paying for bigger data pipes. However, it distorts internet speed reports.

That’s why PhuketInternetSpeed.com uses the DSLReports speed test. As I explain in that Live Wire article, DSLReports can’t be cached.

Be careful when comparing internet speeds. Make sure you choose the right site: choose one that doesn’t support caching if you want valid test results.

Next week I’ll show you how to zero in on an ISP that will work for you.

If you haven’t reported your speeds on PhuketInternetSpeed.com, drop by and sign up! It’s free, it only takes a few seconds, and the results help everybody figure out what’s working and what’s not worth the bother.

Remember, all of the data – more than 21,000 reported sightings – is immediately available to anybody who wants to download, look at, or fiddle with the results.

Also remember that the ISPs are watching the reports. We need your help.

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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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend

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Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that Phuket has received a much-needed 300 million baht boost over the 4 day long weekend with around 54,000 tourists flocking to the island from last Thursday through to yesterday.

Phuket Office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, reports that the average expenditure per visitor was about 5,500 baht, which was higher than the average spend for a Thai tourist to Phuket 2 years ago. She also noted that random checks on hotels showed that occupancy rates climbed to about 35%, with most guests staying 2 nights. But most of Phuket’s hotels remain closed.

Nanthasiri also says that many of the tourists concentrated themselves in the Phuket Old Town area, especially around Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, and Dibuk Road in order to enjoy at the Sino-Portuguese shophouse architecture and historical locations. In fact much of Phuket Town, including its many markets and alley eateries, were doing roaring business, The Thaiger can vouch for the heavy traffic, on the roads and footpaths, over the past 4 days.

“This special holiday made Phuket tourism livelier, even though it was not as same as the situation before the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In fact, despite the welcome surge of visitors, it was still a long, long way from its previous tourist levels with much of the west coast, which has largely catered for the international tourist traffic, was still very quiet in places like Patong, Kata and Karon.

Phuket wasnt the only destination that has profited off of the long weekend as Chiang Mai saw droves of Thai tourists visiting its Royal Park Rajapruek as well as the northern city’s other nearby national parks and tourist areas. Visitors came from all over to see the blossoming of flowers in a beautiful display at the park as well as enjoying the air-purifying flowers as they relaxed. Tourists were able to rent a bicycle for 60 baht if they wanted to exercise while taking in the scenery and could also pay a visit to the orchid greenhouse, which hosts a variety of orchids in bloom. TripAdvisor recommends to set aside 2 hours to visit the park.

Next holiday weekend, on November 27 and 28, Pattaya is expected to get a tourism boost as its annual fireworks festivalis set to bring in travellers who have taken advantage of package deals offered by some beachside hotels. Such packages were offered for advance bookings, where holidaymakers could view the firework shows on the rooftops of their hotels. The firework displays are said to be long with breaks of entertainment-packed shows, featuring live music and student bands amongst others.

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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