Before turning to the Internet topic, I need to write about the issue firmly important regarding computers and the Internet. It reminds me of graphic popular on the Internet where Google and Wikipedia brag about what they can do. After hearing all, the Energy commented, “keep talking, bitches.”
Shortly before my arrival in Burma (beginning of April), local authorities introduced the principle of energy usage. It will be valid for four months. The system is rotational and based on the dividing the households into three groups, and the day into sections of 6 hours. Thus, each of the two groups does not have power for 6 hours, and one of them for 12 hours – every day. Example of energy distribution at a friend house living in Yangon:
5.00-11.00 11.00-17.00 17.00-23.00 23.00-5.00 (hours fixed for the whole country and all energy consumers)
09.04 + – +
10.04 + – + +
11.04 – + + –
+ energy supplied
– lack of energy
Factories have a power for 12 hours, and airports, hospitals, law enforcement for 24 hours.
OK, but let’s back to the Internet, which in Burma almost not exists. There is also no roaming agreements with most of the countries. The embargo on the broader connectivity with the world (including the presence of global brands) is strongly felt here. From the other hand all these limitations, isolation, the lack of impact of the global economy, I wanted to see this country as soon as possible and succeeded at the last moment, because after the recent political changes (in early April League for Democracy won the elections), probably the country starts to “civilize” and probably the global rules will apply.
What is now regarding Internet? There will be no surprise that the most chances to get access to the Internet you can get in places frequently visited by tourists. Most cafes with Internet access are in Yangon and Mandalay, Burma’s two largest cities. Prices per hour of use range from 200 to 2000 Burmese kyat (1 usd = approx. 800 Burmese kyat).
Excerpt from my blog:
The stay in an internet cafe it’s an hour and half lesson of patience and humility. Pages load so long as in the times when I was connecting the Internet by the modem in the 90s. I read the selected e-mails, I manage to buy a ticket to Kuala Lumpur. Facebook does not recognize me and tells me to verify, but no verification option is currently available.
During the nearly month of stay in Burma, I used internet cafe only one more time. The web page loading time is irrationally long, and I decided that nothing is so urgent and important that I had to take care of it right away. Several times I manage to connect with the hotel wi-fi and then it was almost reasonable speed.
Some time ago the number of points wi-fi in Burma was increased from 13 to 60 (December 2010. Source: http://www.mmtimes.com/2010/info/554/tech55401.html). Such information certainly will occur more frequently.
It’s guest post by Dagmara Bausz.