I’ve now found Micah to fill the laowai void at my company, but my internet access remains in a deplorable state. Thus the whining continues.
I was recently researching the problem, and I read what Wang Jianshuo had to say about it. (His site is a great reference for all matters Shanghai.) He’s been having problems too, and he also uses ADSL. A Chinese friend in the IT business informed me that her friends have been having similar issues lately (especially with Google), but that those using cable broadband service (有线通) weren’t having the same issues.
Since the internet access problem is mostly specific to Shanghai, I theorized that China is trying out its newest internet filtering technology in Shanghai, with ADSL service in particular as the guinea pig. My troubles are a side effect of what Wang Jianshuo calls “bugs in the great firewall,” which exist because of the newness of the technology. Surely any filters applied to ADSL will also be applied to cable broadband, but maybe only after this initial “tweaking phase” is completed. And who knows when that will be.
So I took a gamble. I signed up for cable service, paying 340 rmb (over $40 US) for installation, the cable modem, and a month of service. The service itself is slightly cheaper (120 rmb per month instead of China Telecom ADSL’s 140 rmb per month), and the speed is about the same. But my website might be once again freely accessible. If not, I wasted 220 rmb for pretty much the same service I was getting.
The installation was finished this afternoon. Once connected, I tried to access my site via FTP. No go. I went to my blog page. My site loaded slowly, pretty much the same as before. Experiment over.
One difference, though, is that Metafilter seems to load better than before. That’s a plus. Also, sites seem to be timing out less often, and just loading slowly instead.
Anyway, I’m through with this crap. I’m changing hosts again. If my site is down for a little while, or the comments don’t work or something like that, you know why. Hopefully soon I’ll be back online proper, blogging about things less boring and negative.