Meeting Notes - 10 June 2014

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Meeting Notes - 10 June 2014

Post by bdahm on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:56 pm

Another nice turnout.  Jan joined us for the first time.

Apple Developer Conference
For those interested in what’s new for the Mac desktop OS, to be called Yosemite (after the national park in California), and what the mobile iOS will be like, here are links to the Apple website.

Getting Connected in Chiang Mai
 There are many lovely lades in Chiang Mai, but that’s not what this is about. One of the most frequent and most pressing questions new comers ask is, which Internet Service Provider, ISP, should I go it? We went around the room asking these four questions:

1. Where do you live? 
This is probably the most important question because depending on where you live you may not have a lot of options. The best advice is to ask your neighbors. One thing is pretty much sure, if you live condo or apartment that supplies your internet connect, it almost surely will be sub-optimal. The supply (bandwidth) will almost certainly not meet the demand especially in an age where video is becoming ever more pervasive. Your best bet if you live in one of these places is to see if you can get an individual connection with one of the major providers.

2. Who is your ISP?
There were various opinions about TOT. Here it may be a function of where you live, in downtown Chiang Mai or in one of the communities outside of the city. I live on the road to Mae Rim, north of the city, and have been using TOT for a number of years and have been satisfied with their service. 

True got pretty good marks, though you may have trouble getting connected and they mainly serve areas within the city. Outside the city in certain housing developments True offers a premium fiber-optic connection, which promises close to 32 Mbps down within Thailand and very good bandwidth internationally.

Perhaps the largest number of people indicated they used 3 BB. There are two levels of service and if you rely heavily on overseas web sites, the premium service, which costs more, would seem to be the better choice.

Sinet offers a fiber-optic connection as well and provides bandwidth in the 32 Mbps range down. These fiber-optic providers typically require you to sign a contract for a year with a stiff penalty (usually equal to 2 months fee) if you leave. They do, however, supply the modem and in my case they gave me my first month free. 

One thing you don’t want to do is rely on some kind of “air-card” as your primary internet connection. Beside having to purchase the air card yourself, the on-going rates for bandwidth are not competitive with the wired providers.

3. What are you Paying?
TOT is probably the least expensive, starting at 600 baht/month. For that you can expect to get close to 5 Mbps down and over time the bandwidth will be raised. I started with them 4 years ago and they offered 2 Mbps at that time. Now I am still paying the same price and getting close to 8 Mbps down. 

True is price competitive with TOT and again it’s a question of availability in your area.

Triple BB offers a plan for 600 baht/month providing 10 Mbps, or so they say.  Other plans provide more bandwidth for an increase in price. This may work well for inside Thailand, but if you frequent international sites, the Premium service for around 900 baht/month is probably a better value. There’s also 3BB fiber, but we don’t know if it is available here in Chiang Mai and who it is available to.

Sinet is a fiber-optic provider and their service provides 32 Mbps down within Thailand and close to 15 Mbps internationally, which will cost you 1,200 baht/month with a one year contract.

4. How’s the service?
With TOT it’s a bit of a mixed response, though I have had good service with my TOT connection for several years. 

People who can get it seemed pleased with True.

3BB generally gets good marks, with the highest satisfaction levels from those using their Premium service.

Sinet has delivered and I am very pleased with their service, which I have had since the beginning of the year.

What we have outlined above is just for starters. Do your own homework. Talk to your neighbors, check the ISP’s websites, pick up their brochures in the malls, talk to their reps. There are a bewildering assortment of promotions and special offers. Make an educated choice.

That’s all I have for this week, so that’s a wrap. 



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