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Phuket Live Wire: Unofficial study nets surprising rates of speed

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Live Wire: Unofficial study nets surprising rates of speed | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The amount you pay for an Internet line has almost no correlation with how fast the line runs internationally.

Before you spend a fortune on a new Internet connection, make sure you understand what you are – and aren’t – getting.

Hundreds of Phuket residents regularly report (click here for graph) their international internet download speeds on PhuketInternetSpeed.com.

Computer Clinic guru Khun Roger and I had a chance to sift through some of the latest numbers, and the results certainly took us by surprise.

This isn’t a scientific study. Rather, it’s a grass-roots effort to monitor our internet speeds here in Phuket and make the data available to anyone who’s interested. You are welcome to download the reported sightings and analyze them any way you wish.

The numbers are self-reported, and not the result of some statistical sampling. The testing method is uniform: we all report international download speeds from Los Angeles, using a very reputable test that isn’t susceptible to caching.

We test many different internet providers and services, around the clock, from locations all over the island. What you see in the graph above is a distillation of the speed tests logged after we switched to the new cache-proof testing site in June.

International download speeds don’t tell the whole story. If you frequently visit popular websites inside or outside of Thailand, domestic speeds may be of far greater important for you. Some major websites – among them Google, Gmail, YouTube, Hotmail, Microsoft.com and the Akamai servers – are almost certainly mirrored inside Thailand, or somewhere nearby.

If you download torrents, the source of the data may be inside or outside of Thailand, or some mixture. Quality of service – up-time, repair response time, connections fading in and out – is important, and this is not shown in the graph.

International speeds only tell a part of the story but it’s a part we can measure reliably, and it’s a crucial part of the picture for many people who do most of their online work outside of Thailand.

Next week I’ll go into detail about the way Khun Roger and I massaged the data, and give you some hints on how to best to use the report, but here are the highlights.

It bears repeating: The amount you pay for an Internet line has almost no correlation with how fast the line runs internationally.

All of the 3BB lines run just about the same speed, whether you spend 590 baht a month for the 6 Mbps line, 1,490 baht for the 12 Mbps line, or 2,500 baht a month for the Premiere line.

Ditto for all of the TOT ADSL lines except, for reasons unknown, the 6 Mbps line is demonstrably faster than the others – and it only costs 590 baht a month. (There’s also a very fast TOT line known as the 9 Mbps Home service, but TOT doesn’t
offer it to new subscribers.)

The chart doesn’t include TOT Fiber Optic. We’ve had some complaints about the Fiber 2U service feeling sluggish lately – not sure what the source of the problem is – but measured download speeds are in the 7 to 9 Mbps range (and thus off the chart). Fiber 2U 10 Mbps is 1,490 baht per month and Fiber 2U 20 Mbps is 2,420 baht.

We have been seeing some significant slowdown in the True DOCSIS lines over the past couple of weeks. It’s possible that True’s not keeping up with demand. Surprisingly, the 20 Mbps DOCSIS line is slower than the 10 Mbps DOCSIS line.

The TOT “WiFi” speeds are based on just two customers, and they only got their lines in the last couple of weeks. The service will undoubtedly gain more customers quickly, and there’s no way to predict whether TOT will keep up with the demand, or if the service will bog down.

Speeds vary significantly depending on location and the individual line. See the PhuketInternetSpeed.com site for the latest details applicable to a specific location.

I have reports about many of the individual services in earlier Live Wire columns. To look them up, start at phuketgazette.net/computers.

If you aren’t yet reporting your speeds on PhuketInternetSpeed.com, please 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 effort. Remember that all of the data – more than 21,000 reported sightings at this point – is immediately available to anybody who wants to download, look at or fiddle with the results. The Internet Service Providers 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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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand targeting specific Chinese provinces for “tourism bubble”

Jack Burton

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Thailand targeting specific Chinese provinces for “tourism bubble” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Travelwire News

Thailand’s minister of tourism and sports says his ministry will target specific provinces in China in a bid to attract tourists back to the resort island of Phuket as travel restrictions are gradually eased. Pipat Ratchakijprakarn says the ministry will not splash out money launching a tourist campaign all across China but rather target some of the many provinces that have brought Covid-19 under control.

He didn’t specify which provinces, but said Phuket is being eyed to lead the planned “tourism bubbles” comprising Thailand and its selected partners. The primary target is selected Chinese cities and provinces.

“China is the first market with potential, because flying time to Thailand is less than six hours.”

Other markets being discussed include South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and some south east Asian countries.

Before the pandemic, 1 in every 4 foreign visitors to Thailand was Chinese. There were almost 40 million foreign arrivals last year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

Officials raid 2 Phuket casinos, arresting 87 illegal gamblers

Jack Burton

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Officials raid 2 Phuket casinos, arresting 87 illegal gamblers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

Officials have raided 2 Phuket casinos resulting in 87 people being arrested for allegedly gambling after the island’s provincial police received complaints of gambling dens operating around the clock – a violation of the current Emergency Decree which bans crowds.

The first raid took place at about 3:30 pm and was at a casino in tambon Talat Nua of Muang district. The premises provided parking spaces for motorcycles and up to 30 cars, and was fenced on all sides with metal sheets. Officials arrested 45 gamblers-30 men and 15 women. They also seized 62,420 baht that was placed as wagers and a gold necklace that was 15 grams in weight.

Around the same time, a second team raided another casino tambon Sisunthon of Thalang district in Phuket’s north. It was also fenced with metal sheets and featured an ample amount of parking space. 42 people- 22 men and 20 women- were rounded up with police seizing 64,260 baht in placed wagers.

All have been charged with illegal betting and violating the Emergency Decree which was recently extended through July.

Officials raid 2 Phuket casinos, arresting 87 illegal gamblers | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Phuket’s (in)famous “Soi Bangla” district reopens today

Jack Burton

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Phuket’s (in)famous “Soi Bangla” district reopens today | The Thaiger

Today is the official reopening of Phuket’s famous (or infamous) “Soi Bangla” nightlife district, but only about 20% of venues say they’re reopening during this early stage. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced yesterday that all night entertainment venues may reopen but must strictly adhere to health guidelines set out to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the spokesman for the CCSA, says night entertainment venues, including pubs, bars, karaoke venues and beer gardens will be allowed to open, but only until midnight. Social distancing measures will be strictly enforced, and customers must use the Thai Chana app to check in and out.

The Patong Entertainment Business Association president says only about 20% of the 324 registered members are expected to reopen initially, but he expects more to reopen soon. Among the 22 rules announced last week- to be presented to the CCSA for approval- were that all staff must wear face masks and face shields, but performers may wear face shields only. No bottles are to be served, and all drinks are to be served in glasses. No pool table games (including snooker and billiards) and no dart games are to be allowed.

The number of guests in each venue is to be restricted to cater for social distancing, with at least 2 metres between tables, or partitions must be installed to ensure patrons are seated at least one metre away from each other.

Undercutting the main reason people visit popular venues, the draft rules also call for groups to be limited to 5 people, and for guests to be prohibited from dancing and singing, gathering, shouting, or “wandering around the premises”.

“I have no idea what the rules will be, but we will open anyway. If the full list of 22 rules for pubs, bars and entertainment venues is to be applied, we won’t be able to enforce all the rules, because enforcing all these rules is impossible. But we can follow some of the rules, such as social distancing, wearing masks and checking temperatures.”

Even Patong’s mayor told The Phuket News that she is yet to receive a copy of all the rules to be enforced.

“The next thing to do is follow up with the CCSA about the rules. This is very important for the entertainment industry in Patong. I will help and consider being flexible with the rules for entertainment businesses in Patong, because the rules announced by CCSA are the general rules for many places. But some of these rules are not appropriate for businesses here. We have to apply the right rules and optimise them for businesses in Patong.”

The PEBA president dismissed a few entertainment zones being singled out in other countries as “hotbeds for starting a second wave” of Covid-19 infections.

“I do not care what some people claim is the risk of being in a bar. If the government is genuinely concerned about the risk of Covid-19 spreading, then it is not just about bars, pubs and entertainment venues. The risk of Covid-19 spreading applies anywhere where people are around, not only at bars and pubs.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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