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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 10:23 am 
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pit, "Found on the front page"?

This is the same site, so I hope for people who read the forum maybe also look at the home page occasionally, or vice versa, or my up-to-date Facebook pages and groups, for news and updates. I might be wrong and I'd have to duplicate the info all over?

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 5:35 pm 
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The link I tend to use gives me the forum index that shows me if anything is still being discussed on these forums. Needless to say the good Lamma folk have dutifully zuckered off to the new garden where it's harvest party every day.

The blog-style "front page" also gets infrequent updates so when I remember to hit it too I get to learn what happened on Lamma recently. :)

Like the very slow roll-out of 30Mpbs connections which might be of interest to any #deletefacebook'er for instance.

I don't think you need to worry about duplication.

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:39 am 
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Lamma-Gung wrote:
pit, "Found on the front page"?

This is the same site, so I hope for people who read the forum maybe also look at the home page occasionally, or vice versa, or my up-to-date Facebook pages and groups, for news and updates. I might be wrong and I'd have to duplicate the info all over?

I'm a bit like Pit, I don't check here as often as I used to (several times a day, vs once or twice a week now, since Facebook stole all the traffic), and I still use the "new posts" link for the forum.

I do look at Facebook, as it seems to be the ONLY way to find out about things, since no one bothers to put anything here now except for you, but it's specifically designed to waste your time and the moderators on the Lamma groups are at best absent, at worst ... so I find myself going there less and less. It's so hard to discuss anything there with their unstructured threads that you have to click on time after time to see the full thread.

Even before Cambridge Analytica* I was very dubious about sharing my personal life there, and never post except in a few groups.
So now, I'm even less aware of what's going on than I was before.

* Happy to see those pricks have bankrupted, but there are surely dozens of lower profile companies doing the same thing, not to mention most governments trawling social media and analysing every word we write.


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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 3:38 pm 
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Redesign/relaunch of this entire 15-year-old site in progress, as a news/magazine/blog-templated site, including integrating it with the relevant Facebook pages/groups for comments and traffic, similar to HK Free Press or SCMP.com.

It's still early days, and it might take some more time over the summer.
Returning to a daily Lamma-zine/news schedule very soon, after a brain stroke of my 12-year-old home office PC (motherboard died) forced me to use an ancient and exceedingly slow, cumbersome backup PC, making the publishing of the Lamma-zine quite a chore these last few weeks, resulting in sporadic stories.

I also got a 2nd-hand, but fast PC donated a few days ago, setting it up right now. Windows 10 Pro (finally), SSD, very wide screen, nicely integrated with my smartphone and camera, love it all! New tools, new speed, new energy, so much happening all over Lamma these days, almost too much material for just a single daily Lamma-zine story!

I got some website help, even a small sponsor, to make it all happen, but it takes time as I'm basically still a one-man band with a few wonderful volunteers who can only spare a little time occasionally.
Always looking for more volunteers, even if it's just a special picture, lead or story idea!

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 3:39 pm 
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The first people are getting the upgraded VDSL broadband in Tai Peng now and it's so far keeping up to the promised (almost) 30Mbps download. Nearby Sha Po New Village might follow in July, but it'll take a long time to come to more villages, so don't hold your breath. $500+/month and $1K installation fee!

Experiences of the first few people using 30Mbps in Tai Peng so far:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2418687010/permalink/10155450285842011/

In the meantime, lots of people like myself have switched over to 4G router with antennae and/or booster, a pocket Wifi or a simple smartphone Wifi hotspot.
Almost as fast on a good day in a good location as the future broadband and available for about half the monthly cost, available right now, as it'll surely take years to connect more than just a few "easy" villages.

We might get the just announced fibre-to-villages-entrances upgrades, including a fibre link to HK Island, before all the villages are using the current VDSL2 copper-wire upgrades. Going into tendering later this year, target 2021:

https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr17-18/chinese/panels/itb/papers/itb20180514cb4-1037-1-c.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 2:21 pm 
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The Administration indicates that during 2018-19, the Branch will prepare for the introduction of a subsidy scheme to encourage the extension of optical fibre networks to villages in rural and remote areas so as to enhance the coverage of higher speed fixed broadband networks. In this connection, will the Government inform this Committee of -
(a) the details, targets, expenditure and timetable of the scheme?
(b) the current broadband network coverage as well as the highest, average and slowest
broadband speeds for villages in remote areas? How does it compare with the broadband speed for villages not in remote areas?
(c) the number of villages not in remote areas which do not have broadband networks of fixed network operators and the distribution of these villages by district?
Asked by: Hon LEUNG Che-cheung (Member Question No. (LegCo use): 44)
Reply:
At present, the progress of extending network coverage by fixed network operators (FNOs) to remote villages in the New Territories and outlying islands has been slow and unsatisfactory due to the higher costs of network installation and the small number of subscribers. In line with the "people-centric" philosophy of the current-term Government, the Chief Executive proposed in the 2017 Policy Address for the Government to take the lead to provide FNOs with financial incentives in the form of subsidies to encourage the extension of fibre-based networks to remote villages for the provision of high speed broadband services to villagers.
The subsidy scheme will cover nine districts (Islands, North, Sai Kung, Sha Tin, Tai Po, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Tuen Mun and Yuen Long), targeting at remote villages which are
currently far away from existing optical fibre backbone networks of FNOs, and where villagers can only subscribe to broadband services delivered over copper-based networks at a speed of 10 Mbps or below. According to the latest information, the subsidy scheme will cover about 300 villages and is estimated to benefit about 170 000 villagers. The final list of villages to be covered under the subsidy scheme and the number of beneficiaries may be adjusted after the Government has completed consultation with the relevant District Councils (DCs) and has taken into account the views of the villagers concerned.
The Government will invite eligible FNOs to take part in the scheme by way of tender. Successful bidders will receive subsidy for rolling out optical fibre lead-in connection to the vicinity of the entrances of the villages concerned, thereby increasing the broadband speed from the current 10 Mbps or below to at least 25 Mbps. If the villagers reach an agreement with a FNO and allow the latter to roll out fibre-based networks within the village, the broadband speed can further be increased substantially to a level comparable to that in urban areas.
FNOs receiving subsidies will be required to open up at least half of the capacity of the newly built fibre-based networks for use by other FNOs free of charge so as to bring in an element of market competition. In other words, other FNOs may share the use of the newly built fibre-based networks in order to provide broadband services to the villages concerned immediately after the successful bidder does so, thereby offering more choices to villagers.
For those villages which are not covered by the subsidy scheme, most of them already have fibre-based networks reaching the vicinity of the entrances of the villages and the villagers can enjoy broadband speed of 25 Mbps or above. FNOs only need to carry out optical fibre wiring works within the villages or lease the facilities of other FNOs in order to connect optical fibres to individual village houses allowing for the provision of higher speed broadband services.
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development briefed the Chairmen and Vice-chairmen of the 18 DCs of the subsidy scheme in February 2018 and received their full support. The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) are in the process of consulting the nine relevant DCs on the arrangements of the scheme (including the list of villages to be covered) between March and April. We will consult the Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting in May, and thereafter seek the approval of the Finance Committee (FC) of LegCo for the necessary funding, which is preliminarily estimated at about $700 million. Once FC’s funding approval is obtained, OFCA will commence tender work immediately. After completion of the tender exercise and the award of projects to successful bidders, successful FNOs will apply to departments concerned for relevant permits for road excavation works as well as the rolling out of fibre-based networks and submarine cables. Depending on the progress of approval of the relevant permits, the inclinations of the villagers and the work progress, we expect that the newly built fibre-based broadband networks will be extended to the villages concerned in phases from 2021 onwards.


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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:03 pm 
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jamie wrote:
where villagers can only subscribe to broadband services delivered over copper-based networks at a speed of 10 Mbps or below.

So if PCCW installs this ripoff VDSL, with a supposed speed of 30 Mbps, we won't be eligible for fibre?

***ing wonderful.

Quote:
The final list of villages to be covered under the subsidy scheme and the number of beneficiaries may be adjusted after the Government has completed consultation with the relevant District Councils (DCs) and has taken into account the views of the villagers concerned.


What kind of BS is this? "The views of the villagers"? He means the views of the DAB stooges.
In any case, EVERY villager, even DABbers, will want it.

Quote:
The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) are in the process of consulting the nine relevant DCs on the arrangements of the scheme (including the list of villages to be covered) between March and April.


Well, now it's almost June.
Is Lamma on the list or not?

Quote:
permits for road excavation works as well as the rolling out of fibre-based networks and submarine cables.

SUBMARINE CABLES!!!! That' what we need!! Will we get them, if so when?

Quote:
Depending on the progress of approval of the relevant permits, the inclinations of the villagers and the work progress, we expect that the newly built fibre-based broadband networks will be extended to the villages concerned in phases from 2021 onwards.


So at least 3 years, more likely 10.
We'll be 5 generations behind by then.

So, in reality, for the forseeable future, PCCW keeps foisting their rancid VDSL system on us at higher and higher prices, or we can choose to jury rig semi-legal hotspots using SIM card modems.


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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:00 pm 
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Have a look at my LegCo paper link above, the submarine fibre to HK Island is on the tender list, one of 3 announced fibre links for Outlying Islands.

"Semi-legal SIM card setups"? Why semi-legal?
It's pretty easy to set up (just clicking the Hotspot on your mobile phone for the most simple setup) and with unlimited data SIMs available from several non-PCCW telecom providers at costs of all much lower than the 30Mbps VDSL setup of $500/month.

These options are available right now and it works pretty well for many of us Lammaites. Some record around 30Mbps for much of the non-peak hours.
I got tired of waiting for faster broadband quite some time ago (it might take more years till we'll ever get VDSL2 in Pak Kok Village), so whatever they do with fibre upgrades to HK Island and to the villages (project's earliest deadline is 2021, probably many years longer), I'll be watching this absurd corporate theatre from a distance, always surfing much faster than PCCW broadband, fast enough for a home office.

If you're lucky like quite a few Lammaites and have a direct line of sight to Cyberport or South HK Island, your 4/4.5 or future 5G hotspot will perform pretty well and even better with a simple directional antenna. And no waiting needed for any upgrade to the massive Lamma Internet bottlenecks of the microwave links atop Po Wah Yuen and Sok Kwu Wan.

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 2:05 am 
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Lamma-Gung wrote:
Have a look at my LegCo paper link above, the submarine fibre to HK Island is on the tender list, one of 3 announced fibre links for Outlying Islands.

Well, my pessimism is knocked back a little.

Quote:
"Semi-legal SIM card setups"? Why semi-legal?

Pretty sure it's against the terms of service, the fineprint when you sign up.


Quote:
These options are available right now and it works pretty well for many of us Lammaites. Some record around 30Mbps for much of the non-peak hours.

Yeah, I know. But it doesn't work out of the box, you have to know which service and which router to use.
It's obviously doable, but I don't feel confident enough with its reliability to give up my DSL and landline; much as I want to.

Also datacaps are in most contracts, that may be ignored then might suddenly be enforced.
"Unlimited" is usually defined to mean something quite different than the words suggest.


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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:33 am 
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I agree, the 4G Internet speeds are extremely variable and data caps can be switched on at the whim of the telecom operators, all the contracts permit that, jumping from 3Mbps to 20Mbps within minutes sometimes in our own case. I also suspect being already capped during peak hours at a stable 7 Mbps up and down. Speed tests going from initially over 100Mbps upload to always 7Mbps within a few seconds for much of the day.
But even a reasonably stable 7Mbps is 14* faster than max. broadband.
But the 4G connection via pocket Wifi drops completely not infrequently. Plus I'm still not sure if a directional antennae would make any noticeable difference. So even for an ex-regional telecom manager this stuff is not easy.

So I'll need to keep slow, but stable broadband as a backup for now, watching the slowwwww progress of faster internet for some of Lamma over the next several years. It might probably be years till we'll get the 30Mbps upgrade over here, unlike you Tai Peng residents who are the first ones to have it right now.

Any first impressions from your neighbours who are already using it? Stable? Speeds?

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 5:20 pm 
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Lamma-Gung wrote:
unlike you Tai Peng residents who are the first ones to have it right now.

Any first impressions from your neighbours who are already using it? Stable? Speeds?


I don't know anyone using it.

I don't think of it as desirable in any way; it's just an expensive upgrade to eke out a few more years of extortionate fees for PCCW till we finally, years in the future, get a reliable fibre or wireless network with multiple choices of ISP and can tell Richard Li to go f*** himself.


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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 6:53 pm 
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So internet access is or will be a choice between

1) current milking and extortion racket under PCCW / Richard Li's ultra-slow 1990s DSL eventually upgradable to tolerable low-end VDSL from 2000, but with extra extortion and milking.

2) 4G/LTE mobile internet (where available due to terrain limitations) at near market prices, potentially unlimited at tolerable low-end speeds under FUP (Fair Use Policy aka throttling) but often filtered and some ports blocked. Eventually 5G.

3) LEO satellite service coming to various friendly corners of the world sometime over the next decade.

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:26 am 
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Pit, yes, that's basically it for the foreseeable future, at least for quite a number of years.

LEO satellite service? Links, please? Happening in our lifetime?

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:36 pm 
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Lamma-Gung wrote:
LEO satellite service? Links, please? Happening in our lifetime?


Number of the usual suspects are at it, but the current thunder-thieves are probably SpaceX's Starlink which launched their first test satellites earlier this year.

In our lifetime? Too any variables. The Starlink service could be operational in some parts of the world as early as 2021-22, but giving it some further thought, wouldn't Beijing do everything possible to prevent free and ungreatfirewalled internet access to the masses in their territory?

5G is probably safer bet for early-to-mid 2020s service on these shores, but the while potentially significantly faster, most of the old cellular provider issues will still apply.

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Last edited by pit on Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:20 am 
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pit wrote:
most of the old cellular provider issues will still apply.


Yeah, but there is real competition for cellular, so that will surely improve.
Also, if LG's report is correct, there is a sea cable link at least planned which should widen the bottleneck.


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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:01 am 
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The link is not just planned but will actually be part of the HK-wide tender to bring more fibre to outlying islands and areas of HK, to be tendered by end of the year. Implementation of the tender winner over the next several years.

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:22 pm 
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Implementation over the next several years you say? Any preferences? Another tentacle of the Li gang, another family's conglomerate or maybe an SOE with an undisguised integrated "security" apparatus?

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 Post subject: Re: Broadband Internet
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:45 pm 
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Pit, your guess is as good as mine. But at least it's open for tender and the fibre link will likely happen in the next few years. That's all we know for now.

In the meantime, many of us are surfing quite happily from our mobile phone hotspots with unlimited data, providing reasonable-speed Wifi to their entire homes. Reliable even through a T10, to my big surprise, it's usually at least several times faster than broadband and there are several service providers. They all are offering much better deals than the exorbitantly priced 30Mbps broadband being rolled out now ever-so-slowly to some of the more affluent parts of N.Lamma.

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