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 Post subject: YLF's broadband petition
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2016 10:46 pm 
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Yu Lai Fan is sponsoring a petition to improve broadband on Lamma.

Much as I hate to endorse anything she says, it may be worth doing.

We're getting screwed by the telecoms and the civil servants just hand them the lube.
We need some political pressure if we're to get better service before 2047.

But it's supposed to be by Friday 27 May. Apparently she has a questionnaire in her office.

Possibly this is part of a wider campaign, since it just says "remote areas" maybe it's also going out in other islands and NT districts?


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 12:01 pm 
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And here's the questionnaire.
Pretty vague. Should have asked people for specifics:
1) how much they pay
2)what speed they are supposed to get
3)what speed they actually get -- do speedtests as we have been collecting here: Internet speed test -- post your results
At some times, say weekend evenings, it's often close to zero.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 12:43 pm 
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One of several Facebook discussions about this topic today:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154281370578149&set=a.10151395978603149.1073741826.683218148

More about this long-standing problem and possible solutions...

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:40 pm 
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Printable versions of the questionnaire. Print and hand in or fax.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 12:42 pm 
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Well, may be a waste of time, but I printed it out and will deliver it today, along with this rant:

=================
Comment on fixed line broadband on Lamma Island.

I work from my home office doing desktop publishing and need reliable full time Internet to receive and deliver files and communicate.

I have subscribed to the DSL service for my home on Lamma Island for about 15 years. Since then the cost of the service has more than doubled, from about $130/month to $298, installation charges that used to be waived and now charged in full at $500 or more, though it is simply a switch being flicked to activate the service with no site work needed at all. PCCW demands you sign a 24 month contract with no way to escape. If you have to leave before then, you must still pay the full amount. The best service available is 6M, but is never delivered. My current speed is shown below:

{L_IMAGE}

This is about 20% of the rated very low speed. Note that it is “Slower than 94% of Hong Kong”, where people can enjoy speeds literally 500 times faster for the same price.

Despite being unable to deliver the promised level of service, PCCW pushes hard to sell more high end services -- NOW TV, etc., to Lamma residents. It can only partially deliver that by downgrading the general service, since they have refused to increase the capacity of the link to Hong Kong. They don’t need to, they have a monopoly.
Hong Kong Electric has a fibre data connection alongside their power cables to Hong Kong. I’m sure this has the capacity to serve the island; and could easily be expanded with a parallel cable.
In 2010 Hutchison laid a fibre backbone along the streets of Yung Shue Wan and all the way to Sok Kwu Wan. They never activated it. They have never explained this; rumour has it that administrative difficulties with sharing the HKE connection aborted the plan to connect Lamma by fibre. There is no physical reason this could not be activated immediately if government encouraged it instead of blocking it.
Lamma internet and phone users need a fibre cable to Hong Kong. This would be a better way to improve our infrastructure than yet another massive useless concrete monolith.

The 3G and 4G wireless services heavily promoted by the telecoms have poor coverage on Lamma, and all have very low monthly data caps making them very expensive for home use, even if the terms of service allowed it, most do not. In any case, all these are funnelled through the same inadequate link to Hong Kong as other services, and their speed is at the cost of domestic users.
DSL is delivered through the copper phoneline network, which in Lamma is all above ground. During storms these are subject to lightning strike, delivering destructive bolts to DSL users. Dozens of Lamma residents, including myself, have their computers damaged or destroyed every year because of this.
Since all homes on Lamma are now being connected to the new sewage plant, adding a fibre connection to every home simultaneously would be a trivial extra cost.

The bottom line is that Lamma Internet service is inadequate, expensive and getting worse, because there is no minimum standard of service to meet, no pressure from government and no commercial incentive for a monopoly to improve it.

======


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 7:52 pm 
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I am sure YLF is and has always been fully aware of the importance of decent network connections to the quality of life and work of Lamma's residents. I am very, very convinced. Really.

Obviously YLF and her party, The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, have been tirelessly working for years and years towards resolving the current sorry state of affairs on behalf of the electorate.

Lammaites are the luckiest people in Hong Kong for having YLF and the DAB as our sole, glorious reprentatives of our common interests.


It is inconceivable to think that the DAB HQ realized that despite their utter disinterest towards the development of their rural strongholds (other than the business environment friendly massive concerete pouring fests), PPCW is finally starting to see competition for the captives of their old rural DSL monopoly and if new and better competitive services are introduced, the DAB needs to be seen as having been behind such development.

Only cynical, uninformed and unpatriotic persons might harbour such impure thoughts though.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:26 pm 
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The DABbers had a press conference about Lamma's Internet.

{L_IMAGE}

http://news.mingpao.com/ins/instantnews ... 4955770071


Google translation:

============================================
DAB survey refers to 85% of Lamma residents dissatisfied broadband service granted "full charge, enjoy the turtle speed" (21:08)


Hong Kong is a high fixed-line broadband coverage areas, and between multiple telecommunications providers, on the surface in terms of price and quality of service are very competitive, but in the majority of rural and outlying areas, even if we have fixed-line broadband services, but basically only a single supplier, and not when it is granted charge a high, unstable and Suman.

DAB vice-chairman Zhou Haoding said there were expatriates living in Lamma Island to reflect him, compared with before him in the city to enjoy fixed broadband speeds, Islands speeds and only one-twentieth of the urban area more local residents considered "full charge, turtle speed to enjoy."

Islands District, Mr YU Lai - fan, said last month in Lamma Island DAB questionnaires to understand the views of residents of the local fixed-line broadband services. The results show that both the fixed-line broadband charges, service stability, as well as network speed, there are more than 85 percent of respondents said they are not satisfied; 97% of respondents believe that the existing fixed-line broadband service condition of the home, and will Richangshenghuo inconvenience.

According to the CRA reply to a question in the Legislative Council noted that about 13% of the territory of residential customers, or about 300,000 residential units, only one or were not any fixed-line broadband network coverage. As the "Telecommunications Ordinance" not to regulate the type of composition and charges on telecommunications services, fixed network operators on the basis of compliance with license conditions, can provide its services in accordance with commercial considerations.

Legislative Councillor Leung Che-cheung believe that now is the Internet age, fixed-line broadband services as electricity or water, but also the infrastructure services, businesses can no longer rely solely on the discretion, but need government intervention, so that living in more remote or outlying residents enjoy stable and efficient fixed-line broadband services.

The DAB urges the Government and the fixed-line broadband suppliers cooperation and common infrastructure, connected in remote areas and outlying islands, provide more choice and better services for local residents; and research in new grant or continuation of the fixed-line broadband added service license terms, require suppliers must be living in remote regions and the outlying islands of the public, to provide reasonable speed broadband services.

====================================

For once we're on the same side.
They seem to be asking for a change of policy to set a minimum standard of service, rather than just letting "market forces" run rampant as they do now.

Interesting that there was no mention of the company we all love to hate, PCCW.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:28 am 
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More rural discontent about Internet.

http://www.hk01.com/%E7%A4%BE%E5%8D%80/24337/
Google translate
=======================================================
The village shared 8MB turtle speed Internet village life and social dislocation
Date: 2016-06-04 22:00 Last Updated: 2016-06-05 19:53 The author: Zheng Qiuchan

In 2014, Hong Kong's network speed (15.7 Mbps) ranked second in the world, behind South Korea (24.6 Mbps). 2016, for many people, "100Mbps speed fiber optic broadband" advertising lines is nothing new, apart from the choice of 500M and 1000M, and now 100G optical fiber broadband also started a burglary. However, the same city, there are two kinds of "Speed"; Hong Kong, the people want to live there "56K" telephone line Internet life. If this is the "nostalgic" personal choice no harm, the problem is, these people do not get to pick.

Turtle-speed network: non-peak hours are still unable to connect

Dragon and Lion Dance Master Wang is living in Pak Sha Tsuen, Yuen Long, home installation of broadband services has more than ten years. From Hong Kong, "56K era" to "100G fiber-optic broadband era", outside the village of speed followed more quickly, and Baisha village has decades ── still only use the Internet phone line. "I had no way to slow work, and often break now also by phone 4G Internet, but pay 500-600 yuan monthly phone bills, no way." He said with exasperation.

Unlike fiber, transmission speed of the telephone line is very slow. Ideally, Internet speed phone line up 8Mbps. However, because of the use of copper telephone line transmission speed will be reduced during transmission, generally can not sustain 8Mbps connection speed. In addition, the rural village of 8Mbps or limit sharing, the actual connection speed villagers about hundreds of KB. Compared with the market over a hundred Mbps of Internet Services, Pak Sha Tsuen, Yuen Long, the network speed can be called turtle speed, fully keep pace with society.

House seemingly endless rain, the village population continues to increase, so the network is often congested, not to mention the turtle-speed networks, when many can not even connect. "In the past 56K times, families are only one computer, GOD phase and to increase the number of people from the village sun grid, Internet telephone line course, no problem. Today, demand data, just whatsapp send photos with a few MB are friends! , more people are online, telephone line simply can not cope with the demand. whenever people when the Internet, often disconnected. "dissatisfaction Wang said.
The village population is growing, turtle speed network easily lead to congestion, then disconnected. The village population is growing, turtle speed network easily lead to congestion, then disconnected.
Wang reporter to interview the same day at home, his family wanted to test the connection speed. However, around 5 pm non-peak hours, his family has been unable to network connection. "This moment might happen with people outside, right? But every fight wind rain, the evening peak hours, the Internet is the case, could not properly connected. Also, my family has five members, more than three words of personal connections also often broken.

Wang helpless, helpless but even greater than he one?

Network operators a monopoly times more expensive than downtown

May 4 this year, the Legislative Council Members in the Legislative Council refers wheat Meijuan, Hong Kong 40-50 rural face the same situation, including Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tsing Yi, Tsuen Wan and North, to the rural New Territories village houses the most serious.

These remote villages have not FTNS operators to the village laying fiber broadband initiative, while telephone line is PCCW's a monopoly, the villagers can only use the same fixed network service providers, to pay the same monthly fee, along with hundreds KB speed lamented same breath. Telephone line, in addition to the villagers contention turtle speed broadband, but also pay a monthly fee price. Mr. Wang is now $ 316 per month Internet access fees, more expensive than 100Mbps Monthly Package urban approximately doubled.

"Continue to raise the monthly fee, plus a check once, but the service did not improve." High charges, poor service, still in mid-contract, because this is a whole monopolies, "do not get picked, baked live with." Mr. Wang has repeatedly sighed.

300,000 fixed-line broadband do not get to pick
"Do not get picked, baked domestic" is not only remote villages, tenement buildings and private buildings are faced with the same situation.

According to figures released by the Communications Authority, as of the end of March 2015, the territory has 13 percent, from about 300,000 residential units were not any or only a fixed broadband network coverage.

The 30 million users face a monopoly business, usually have to pay a higher monthly fee, and the service is also not guaranteed. Even if some families have fiber to the home, will often appear disconnected, slow access problems.

"Sometimes not on the network, they (Telecom technicians) will teach you to put out the machine, and then boot. Be some small improvement after each re-boot, a little faster, but still often disconnected."
Complaints can expect government assistance
Wang hopes to improve network problems the village, the village had asked the telecom operators to lay fiber-optic broadband, but has not been substantive response. "Every time I call to go, the staff are friendly and responded, saying that they would reflect the higher level. To be honest, the phone also hit parts of working people, not for the Lord, so I do not embarrass them good." He knew his fundamental demands not reach the top telecommunications companies.

Wang is the "anti-monopoly Rural Village Broadband Services Concern Group" one of the members. Earlier, they were accompanied by the Legislative Council of wheat Meijuan, to petition the government headquarters, and appeal to the Council. They want the government to increase the telecommunications operators to roll out broadband Village incentives, increase market competitiveness, so that the villagers can get a reasonable broadband services.

"(Telecommunications provider) customer usually on grounds of insufficient explanation of the reasons for not laying fiber countryside. In fact, in recent years more and more people in the village, and built more around the warehouse, and out into the people increased, How can enough customers? "Mr. Wang believes that more and more people in the village, there is actual demand for network services.
Faced with a monopoly business, individual FTNS operators monopoly situation, Mr. Wang believes that the government has the responsibility to improve the access problems of the villagers.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So, in response to the Legislative Council, referring to the telecommunications market has been fully liberalized mercy of the market; and recommends the use of the public telephone network flow velocity refers to the speed comparable with fixed broadband. Wheat Meijuan quoted a villager's words: "If the Department of Link, I can do the Secretary." She was referring to the Government does not intend to solve the problem for the villagers.

"If there is no incentive to remote villages, it should be paved by the government and leased to private companies pipe." Mai Meijuan think broadband services are public facilities, government has the responsibility to ensure that the villagers receive appropriate services.

Phone signal is weak forced to call outdoors
Costs of mobile Internet expensive than fixed-line services, in some remote parts of the signal is also very weak. "Monthly 4G mobile phone is now a combination of unlimited Internet access and no, I have to pay monthly phone bills of more than one hundred dollars and have been very sparingly used." Mr. Wang is now dependent on the phone's data online, you want to pay each month excess telephone charges. However, after his burglary, cell phone signals will be immediately reduced.

"Sometimes you want to go outside the house talking on the phone, through a friend across the street, to see me squatting in front, will say hello to me." Mr. Wang right hand held the phone to the ear, the left hand pointed to his action, interpreting his own again helpless.

Internet does not seem to listen to the necessities of basic necessities, the government should intervene to ensure that Hong Kong people can be on the net, like a fairy tale. However, human life is indeed increasingly dependent on the network, from the social, entertainment, work, learn social affairs, as well as dealing with daily chores, such as pay water, electricity and rely on the network. These processes involve a lot of pictures, download, transfer and share videos, audio files and documents on broadband transmission speed there are certain requirements.
United Nations: the Internet is a basic human right
According to figures released by the Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong people per week for the average time Internet services rose from 2001 to 2014, about 12 hours to about 31 hours, an increase of nearly 2-fold. "Internet" is not necessarily to be the label "addiction" notoriety, the United Nations recognized in 2012, the Internet is a basic human rights, and that the Internet people enjoy freedom of expression, while promoting the development of human rights, can drive economic and social progress.
==================================================================

The government doesn't give a shit about us, but if NT villagers supported by the DAB and Heung Yee Kuk get involved in this, pushing the government to directly provide better (i.e. fibre) Internet to "remote" villages instead of shitty, expensive, oversold and unreliable DSL, the government will listen. They have votes in LegCo.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:26 am 
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You may be right, but isn't this positive that we're on the same side for once? Pushing the Govt. depts. on several fronts to get active instead of them simply ignoring the situation could really help to improve the situation?

Why not work or coordinate with these real powers to improve the situation, PCCW and the Govt. dept. have a hard time ignoring the DAB and Heung Yee Kuk, so much more powerful than a few English letters to the editor...

Need to have a chat with our local powers-that-be (and especially their non-political assistants) again soon, check out if anything's happening after this big PR push by DAB & friends...

In the meantime, Mui Wo and parts of Lantau are finally getting 30Mbps Internet soon, just being offered to residents in letters:
Yippie from Merrin Pearse...

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:28 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:02 pm 
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Here's a DAB Youtube video (featuring of course YLF) about slow Internet on Lamma, uploaded 3rd June.

Mostly Cantonese, but pretty obvious complaints about speed, and with one gweilo.



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:38 pm 
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A letter making the rounds these days, most likely not from any official source, but "local people".
Full of mistakes, even spelling NORHT in the title, and completely fictitious speeds, so it looks credible to be a non-official source.
We'll be looking out for those HKT/PCCW salespeople. They're busy upgrading Mui Wo these days...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:42 pm 
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This is how an official upgrade letter might look like, from Mui Wo:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:26 pm 
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I fear that YLF is going to say VDSL, if it ever happens, is the solution, and it's all because of her "strong demand", rather then a ripoff planned by PCCW months or years ago.

No. 1 problem is the link to Hong Kong. If that isn't upgraded, all we are doing is fighting amongst ourselves for the biggest share of a fixed and increasingly inadequate amount of bandwidth.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:10 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:35 am 
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What's happening to 4G on our island recently? Upgrade or I just got lucky this morning?

My home office PC connected to mobile phone Wifi Hotspot, before 9am:

{L_IMAGE}

This might be probably a rare outlier, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts, it might soon go back to the usual 10-20Mbps up/download speeds...

This way I might crash into my 6GB/month limit before end of the month, after which my service provider (3) would cut me off completely if I don't pay extra for every GB. It costs just $252/month for my mobile service plan, so I make sure I get as close to 6GB as I can, but never over the limit.
At least one Lammaite pays several thousands/month to use 100s of GBs...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:11 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:43 pm 
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I just found out that our service provider has dropped his extra GB charges dramatically, like other providers. There's a rampant online market for selling extra mobile GBs from people not having used their monthly allowance, so the official service providers dropped their prices to something similar. Currently $36 for 1 extra GB from 3, only $12 for night usage, cheaper than the $15 charged in online marketplaces (China Mobile).

A friend of mine uses hundreds of extra GBs and pays several thousand dollars for them, charging them to his own co. He also claims to get 100+Mbps in YSW, with his special, very expensive antenna and router...

Still no replacement in sight for our fixed-price, unlimited, wired broadband lines, as many of us use hundreds of GBs/month.
At least streaming TV works fine and without problems via NOW TV's dedicated broadband lines, but only at standard resolution and a small number of very limited Lamma-only channel packages are available at $68 (two packages minimum).

So we're actually OK for now, but eagerly awaiting changes in the local TV/Internet market...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:26 am 
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Our Internet Speeds are all over the place these days. First time I've seen a triple-digit download speed on Lamma.
Even a repeat of the speedtest yielded similar results, at least for a few minutes...

{L_IMAGE}

My neighbour and we use 4 different mobile telecom service providers - 3, CSL, Smartone, China Mobile - we'll do a little test in several locations around Pak Kok this weekend, see how the providers stack up. We expect the results to be all over the map, from zero (much of Pak Kok valley doesn't even get any wireless phone/Internet reception) to triple-digits, depending on location, time of day/week, weather and even in which direction your mobile is pointing...

Main advice when looking at flats to move into, check your mobile phone/Internet speeds in different rooms before making a decision to move!

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