Slow Internet: Cables? Conspiracy? Clusterfuck?

Published on 18th September 2014 by Stickboy BKK

For the past 48 hours my internet service provided by True Internet has been running at the speed of 56k dial-up. On occasion in the past when it has been sluggish or temperamental things have always went back to normal within a few hours. Compared to some users, I’ve been pretty lucky with my net connection over the years. Not any more.

Whatever True are up to, it seems to be affecting many on their network in Bangkok. If it was down to the AAG (Asia-America Gateway) underseas cable that has been damaged I’d have expected more than True users to be suffering slow speeds. 3BB in Bangkok, all good. Internet services in Phuket and Pattaya, all running as normal.

So what is going on? Why are some ISPs providing normal service to their customers accessing international websites if the damaged cable is the cause of my problem? Perhaps they route international traffic differently, that is possible. But why are Facebook and Twitter running superfast via True yet ALL other international websites, including Google, are running at a snails pace? That makes no sense at all as neither have local datacenters.

slow true internet

The True gateway status page shows all links are up and running as normal, however, trying to connect to my servers in Germany during the day is all but impossible. Trying to access Reddit that uses Amazon’s Singapore DC is useless. Anything in the USA or UK. I can take a shower and the page still wouldn’t have loaded by the time I’d dried off.

Last week it was reported that mass surveillance was coming to Thailand’s internet – is that the real story here? Are True being used as a guinea pig to test out the new system? I’m not one for conspiracy theories or getting involved in politics. I simply want to know what the hell is going on and this broken cable sounds like a red herring.

The reasons why I’m saying this are firstly, the AAG cable was damaged back in July and I didn’t suffer the same disruption to service as I am now, and secondly, why are the two biggest social media sites unaffected? Remember, those would be the two prime targets of any surveillance and also the two that would cause the most public outcry if users were having trouble accessing them.

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong and it’s just another CAT Telecom / True Internet clusterfuck which would come as no surprise at all. Whatever it is I hope they sort it sooner rather than later as I don’t want to be working nightshift to beat the traffic.

Update 6.05am 19th Sept – at bang on 6am it was like someone flicked a switch. Normal service instantly resumed. Underseas cable my ass, something else was going on. Whatever it was I don’t know and I really don’t care as things are back to normal.

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