If there’s one thing I missed when I was in Perth, it was quality Internet access. The University network was pretty good, but public Internet access was a different matter. For the first year, I was using dial-up 56K connections, and thereafter for the next few years, an ADSL 256K line that cost a bomb + utilized bandwidth shaping.
Now, one has to keep in mind this was in 2003 to 2006, and home cabled Internet in Singapore was the norm with speeds reaching the several Mbps at that point, and even faster now. So, despite the many complaints people here have about one thing or another e.g. transportation, taxi-drivers, GST, one thing I think that is done right here is telecommunications infrastructure.
Some aspects aren’t as great or affordable as say in Hong Kong or South Korea, but it’s not too bad. You get Wireless@SG, 3G Internet access on the go, digital voice travelers, powerline access which I blogged about the other day, and cabled Internet access of up to 100 Mbps.
Now, while Wireless@SG is free, its reliability can be a mixed bag. You get it in malls, office buildings and public institutions, and even so, while you’re usually certain of getting a connection, it drops on occasion. So, I recently applied for the mobile Internet service that is offered complimentary for the current home Internet service I’m already on.
OK, so a lot of people are already on the service. It took me a while to get onto it because there wasn’t a pressing need to earlier. What changed? Well, we were at Thomson Medical Center the other day for Ling to do a detailed baby scan, and to my horror, I discovered that Wifi is no longer freely public-accessible. Apparently, registration I’m guessing at the reception is required. What a bummer. A netbook with no net access. Duh.
The Maxmobile service I got on solves the problem nicely. As long as there’s phone coverage, there’s access. The MSI Wind doesn’t have a built-in SIM slot though, so I have to use a USB dongle pictured here. And it takes a couple of minutes to get a connection on the Wind’s Windows 7 (it zips through on Vista on the NEC notebook though).
But hey, it works, and I’m now empowered again… during TMC visits LOL.:)