Broadband ... yes, the miracle cure for those jonesing for a little back home info, MP3s and other digital goodies.  Hey - visit, too... ;).  Here is a list of the packages currently being offered, for both ADSL and for Cable internet.  While cable internet is less expensive, sometimes significantly, and in some cases  promises higher upload and download rates, cable internet performance is inconsistent.  The more users during a given time the less optimum the speed.  However, as a teacher you may not even be online when other people would normally are.  More about the cable modems in a minute.  To begin with, here are the ADSL deals:

All of the companies offering ADSL have Activation Fees, Line Fees and ISP fees.  The activation fees you only pay once.  The various deals currently offered are described in detail at the end of this article.  The deals available from the various providers break down in terms of download & upload speeds.

Whichever company you choose, the first person to come to your apartment will still be a Hinet guy.  Hinet is Chung-Hwa Telecom, the former state  telecom monopoly.  Despite their names, Hinet, Seednet, So-Net & Giga, their only difference is in packaging and customer service.  They are all using the same lines.

You can get internet access by using cable TV lines.  Again, the main issue is performance.  Think of cable as a river in a park.  On the weekends that river is crowded with pleasure boats, kayaks, inner tubes.  Makes getting around a little slow.  The same is true of cable internet on evenings and weekends.  ADSL, on the other hand, is like a your private conduit to the sea.  However, the schedules of most teachers and expatriates may nullify this peak-hour slowdown issue.  And, the cable internet companies are fiercely competing on price - offering deals at the highest speeds that are in some cases nearly 50% lower than ADSL.  Click here to see a comparison table.

The people providing the cable TV are not the same ones providing cable internet.  The reasons for this are chiefly technical and financial. While cable internet looks like a sure thing today, cable itself developed slowly. Some of the largest names in cable in the West, like Cox & Shaw, were truly family businesses that took a gamble on a new technology. Taiwan is the same. Cable TV service as a business evolved slowly, a new-fangled thang.  As it grew regulations were set up to enhance competition - meaning that today in any large city you can have numerous local cable companies controlling different districts of the city, and even different streets. But,  these cable companies do cable, thank you very much, and are little interested in gambling a huge investment on something the phone company seems to have sewn up  like internet access.  So your local cable operators co-operate with companies that specialize in cable internet

If you already have cable TV, contact a cable internet provider in your area and they'll set things in motion. 

If you don't have cable TV, you need to get it first.  Considering the welter of cable fiefdoms in each city, who is your local cable company?   If you contact any of the cable internet companies in your area, tell them your address, they'll tell you who to call to get cable itself.  Once your cable TV is installed, the cable TV people will send the cable internet company down to you.

(If you are in Taipei city and the cable operator in your area cooperates with Eastern Broadband Telecom, then they can set up cable internet access for you regardless of if you even have cable TV.) 

The order to installation time for cable internet service ranges from 3 to 10 days.  If you have cable TV now, your channels will remain the same.  When you get cable internet set up you'll pay the deposit and the first month/quarter/6 months or year to the installation person.  Thereafter, Giga and Eastern Broadband Telecom can automatically bill your credit card for the service.  Somewhat belying their name, Lightning Speed Communications requires you to go in to their offices to pay fees by credit card.  Once you are set up you will receive two separate bills, one for the TV (but, hopefully you've got your landlord paying for that), and one for the internet access.

In summary, if you have cable now, you can add cable internet to it by calling a operator in your area.  If you don't have cable TV, you'll need to get that first in order to be able to get cable internet.  (Only in Taipei can you get just cable internet without cable TV, and even then just in certain areas.  Call Eastern Broadband Telecom to check.)  Once you are set up you can enjoy some fairly big savings on the internet, but know that there is a performance factor, and that in most cases you'll have to pay for cable TV as well. 



Hinet  ADSL

Toll free: 0800-080-412, 24 hour service Mon~Fri, or call 02-8912-4181 during office hours, but, answers in Chinese

- Hinet provides the ADSL modem.
- Order to installation time: 1 week.
- Procedure: Foreigners need to go to any branch of Chung Hwa Telecom in person. 
- Afterwards, they can bill your credit card for the service.
- Required documents: Passport and an ARC.

With Hinet there are month-to-month and two year contracts. These packages also include some extras: 

1.  If you are a new telephone line user, the installation fee will be waived.
2.  A 50mb Email + 60mb Homepage.
3.  A dialing account, set up fee NT$200 and monthly charge NT$100 waived. Pay  NT$0.17/min for the ISP.
4.  Several on-line services such as games, TV programs, movies.


Seednet ADSL

4050-9000, ext. 2 for English service.  Just dial the number as you see it, no area code is necessary regardless of your location.  However, it is not toll-free.

- Hinet still provides the modem for you.
- Order to installation time: 1 week.
- Procedure: Fax a Chinese form or apply in person or apply online.
- They can bill your credit card for the service.
- Required documents: Passport and an ARC.

1. Seednet Online TV 1 month for free; 2M: Online TV 3 months for free ($199/month from the 2nd month.)
2. One fixed IP & four unfixed IP for 1M/64K deal's applicants; One fixed IP & nine unfixed IP for 2M/256K, 2M/512K and 3M/640K.
3.  Kuro (A website) music download software 1 month's usage for free. (You need to tell Kuro to stop the service if you don't want use anymore, or they'll charge $99/month from the second month.)
4. Web hardware 50MB one month for free, including web photos, e-mail and etc.
5. A fortune telling service.
6. Seednet Antivirus mail 1 month for free. (you have to tell Seednet to stop if you don't need it, or they'll charge $99/month from the 2nd month.)
7. 30 MB E-mail (Free) + 50 MB Homepage.

A one-time NT$500 Activation charge applies to all accounts. 




toll-free: 0800-017-357, ext. 9 for English service                                                                      

- Activation: NT$500, a one-time charge
 - Hinet provides the modem for you.
 - Order to installation time: 1-2 weeks.
 - Procedure: Apply by fax or in person. 
 - They can bill your credit card.
 - Required documents: Passport and an ARC.
 With Giga you get:
 1. A 100mb Email.
 2. A 100mb Web Hardware or 128mb dynamic photo albums.
 3. Giga on-line TV free points.

 4. Trendmicro anti-virus e-mail discounted price: NT$120/1year .


So-net ADSL

 tel: 4499000, ext.4 for English service. Or dial 02-2655-3255, 2655-3556.

So-Net, a subsidiary of Sony. 

- Hinet provides the modem for you.
 - Order to installation time: 1-2 weeks.
 - Procedure: Apply by tel, fax or in person. 
 - They can bill your credit card.
 - Required documents: Passport and an ARC.
  60 MB E-mail + 20 MB Homepage + on-line services (TV...).




Updated 24 JAN 2006

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