Thursday, January 25, 2007

Internet connectivity in China

The internet connection between here and the US is ridiculously slow. I’m told it’s all due to the an earthquake off the coast of Taiwan that severed most of the fiber optic links between Asia and the United States a month ago. I sure hope that’s true, because if it remains as slow after the links are fixed, my happiness and productivity will be severely diminished. I find myself unable to download files over 4 MB since the connection gets reset every so often, which makes it impossible for me to get updates for TurboTax (does this qualify me for an automatic refund extension?) or see company annual reports. It also means that I am having a really difficult time watching any TV that I am trying to stream over from the US via Slingbox. I’m getting awfully tired of watching the only English channel on Chinese broadcast television, CCTV9. CCTV9 only seems to have 4 hours of new content each day. During the other 20 hours a day, it just replays the same “expert interviews” and documentaries about rural farm workers.

However, I do have enough bandwidth to use my VOIP phone. So now, Katie can call me on a local phone number from the US, and I can call her without incurring ridiculous international long distance phone charges. The only thing I have to worry about now are wrong numbers that wake me up at 2 in the morning, since it’s 1 in the afternoon in Washington DC, where my phone number is from.


rbiber said...

hopefully you will have the TV thing working for the super bowl!!
YOu certainly need to stay abreast of the latest american culture...
"da bears vs. da colts"

John Chen said...

If you can't get the super bowl, may be you can rent a" Chinese soap opera" ? Ha! Ha! :-) just kidding you!