Broadband ... yes, the miracle cure for
those jonesing for a little back home info, MP3s and other
digital goodies. Hey - visit tealit.com, 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.