Monday, May 26, 2014

Internet Speed Non-rant.

A picture says a thousand words, ika nga. We don't only have the slowest internet speed in all of the ASEAN countries, but also the crappiest speed/price ratio.

I named this post a non-rant because I've done an accidental rant in one of my posts before, and so I didn't want to end up saying exactly the same things.

Anyone who comes across this post has probably used the internet before (note sarcasm), and even more probable is that you regard the internet as a modern necessity. So it's not so strange that when you experience the following things - a) slow internet speed b) no internet at all c) you (or your family members) keep paying the freagin' bill every month but the internet still sucks d) your constant call to your internet service provider shows no speed improvement - you end up: a) cursing a lot b) calling the internet hotline even more than usual (because let's face it, if you're an internet person, the hotline's pretty much hardwired in your brain) c) getting angry at the poor representative who answers your call (because apparently speaking nicely the past 3 days, not to mention months, didn't help, so you decide to change your strategy) and d) cry.

Yep. I cried. As someone whose job depends on the internet, the frustration coming from the fact that the first requirement for your job is missing is something that makes you cry. More than that, there was no personal fault that you did. It was a problem which you had no direct solution to. The three trips back and forth the BIR, even though for others it took only one day, was nothing in comparison; so was the rush picture taking for the photo requirement, coming home to submit it that day and finding that the representative from the company wasn't online anymore; in fact the four philosophical papers I crammed in one night and a day paled in comparison. This was something I really had no control over. None of it was my fault. We payed the bills on time; I also called the hotline several times when a problem arose, requested for the presence of the technician several times, was patient even though our complaint didn't receive the promised 24-48 hours protocol, got angry after 3 days, demanded service, and yet. Nothing.

In fact that part may actually be a fault in the management rather than with the internet speed itself. But honestly, this is the general scenario whenever an internet problem arises in the Philippines. Lots of other people also experience exasperating issues and service. All of that, and we discover that we actually have the crappiest internet speed in all of the ASEAN countries; and then discover that we pay lots of money for shitty net (besides the already shittier net that we have). Wtf is up with that?

Our house's internet is actually fine now. Well... It's more appropriate to say that it's better than "fine".

We finally had a good technician visit us and payed attention to our needs (a.k.a. the fucking internet speed). (Because believe me, I had my fair share of technician visits before, and they range from plain-rude to good-hearted-but-helpless ones. This was our first visit from a decent technician.) And really, I'm more than thankful that our internet problem was fixed (not totally though, but I guess I won't delve into that here anymore), but to be honest we've spent a long time experiencing less-than-what-we-deserve internet speed in relation to other people who avail of the same service from our provider, that I can't just be calm when I discovered that all this time, even when we thought our internet was alright and, drum roll please, fast at 3Mbps, it actually wasn't (?!?) and we're paying so much for this shit? I mean, let me repeat, WTF IS UP WITH THAT?

I'm not sure if this is considered a first world problem or not (never mind the technicality that our country is far from being categorized as "first world"), but it's still a problem that affects most of us. It's something that needs to be solved, because in our world today, it's not an exaggeration to call the internet a necessity. It may not be at the very first level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, but it should be at the second level, or if not, I'm pretty sure it's at level 1.5.

I cannot accept the fact that we fall not only behind other countries in something as basic as internet, but we're in last place. Again, wtf.

In fact there's a picture my friend just recently uploaded via twitter. She's in Korea right now where internet is free and everywhere.

Dude. This is free and we pay an average of Php1000 for 3Mbps??? If anyone thinks this is fair then please raise your hand. No? No? Yep. Thought so.

I understand that the economy is different for every country and that of course not everything will be equal. Being a wifi country is, I understand, impossible as of the moment - especially when we can't even fix the internet issues when we're actually paying for it. 

But come on, last place? That great of a difference between us and other ASEAN countries is ridiculous. (Also, please don't be confused, Korea is not part of the ASEAN countries. I just used it for frustration release purposes.)

On average, ASEAN countries have an internet speed of 8Mbps. The Philippines has an average of 3Mbps. 5-freagin'-Mbps of a difference is just ludicrous. (I resorted to using a big word here because no small word can express the absurdity of the situation.) When our internet was experiencing one of its good days, I felt that 3Mbps is so move-heaven-and-earth fast. Turns out we're 5Mbps short. Oh yeah, and did I mention we're last place? I did? Well, we are.

Once again, before I end this post, Sen. Bam Aquino, I salute you for taking the first step in solving this problem. 

Huh. Turns out it was a rant after all.

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