More SE Asian Internet Commentary

Posted by Garth on Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In talking to my Laoatian gf today, I briefly pondered the idea of moving to Laos (if only temporarily).  But, from my experience, shitty internet was quite a stumbling block.  So, thinking that maybe all the internet cafes cheaped out or something, I figured I'd do a little research to determine what high-speed pricing was like.  And then I did some conversion from LAK (Laos Kip) to CAD.  And then my I picked my jaw up off the ground, shook my head, and vowed that I will never spend more than a few days in that country unless I feel like disconnecting myself from society and becoming a farmer (which I would suck at cuz I wouldn't be able to look up how to plant seeds or harvest crops on the internet).  Some sample pricing follows.  I'm not even going to bother with the low-end (128 kbps DSL... seriously, is that a joke?), so I'm just going to cite a few high-end offerings.

ETL High Speed ADSL
1 mbps down / 512 kbps up - 3,600,000 LAK = $449.75 CAD

Planet Online High Speed ADSL - this one's great cuz they list their speed as "256 kbps - 2048 kbps*" where the * points to "The speed fluctuates during certain time of day".  What they mean is "During certain times of the day it may be slightly faster than absolutely useless".
20 GB/month cap (the highest) - 1,600,000 LAK = $199.75 CAD

Suffice it to say I won't be moving to Laos anytime soon.  I don't know how a country can get away with that.  Infrastructure's one thing, but with tech like WiMax available, shitty phone lines aren't an excuse.  Also, isn't the average salary in Laos lower than in Thailand?  I mean, if minimum wage here in Phuket is 6000 THB/month = $190 CAD and Laos is equal or lower, how the hell is anyone supposed to afford internet?  And without internet, how is anyone supposed to learn anything and get a higher paying job and help to pump up the Laoatian economy?  Chicken/egg anyone?


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