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Lao Internet users hit by earthquake !!

The income of Internet shops has hit rock bottom for the first time in years, due to the slow down of internet services caused by a distant earthquake.

This internet shop stands empty due to an earthquake in far-off Taiwan.

A technician with Enterprise Telecommunication Lao (ETL), one of six internet access providers for businesses in Laos, Mr Viengsavai Phongpaseuth, confirmed that the slowdown had been caused by the recent earthquake near Taiwan.

Tuesday’s earthquake caused damage to undersea internet cables which link Europe and Asia. According to BBC News reports, the repairs would take several weeks.
Telecommunications companies in Hong Kong, Japan and China also reported problems. China’s biggest telecom provider, China Telecommunications Group, said that communications cables between the US and Europe had also been damaged, the BBC reported.

Mr Viengsavanh explained that Laos connected to the internet through two lines: one cable under the sea and one over land. He said Lao internet signals that had previously relied on the undersea cable had to be re-routed through the overland cable, which connects Asia to Russia.

ETL and other internet providers in Laos had started re-routing all signals through the land cables, but because the supply could not meet the demand, the internet signal had slowed down.

“We have lost half of our internet signal capacity, so we can supply only half of the internet access to our customers, and, when many people use it, there is a slowdown,” he said.

He said many financial companies in Asia had shut down because the internet was not working.

Internet cafés and related e-businesses will have to deal with the impact for some time, as Internet providers in Laos cannot confirm when the strength of the Internet signals would recover from their current problems.

Many banks and tours or flight booking agents which use the internet to transfer money or confirm bookings have reported problems with their Internet access, although most say the problems have not been significant.

The host of an internet shop at Sihom square, Mr Phoumee Latanaphasouk, said yesterday that the signal began slowing down on Tuesday, causing a loss of income to the shop.

“Normally the shop earns around 400,000 kip per day, but when the Internet signal slows down, it earns only half that,” he said.

He said many customers who had come to check their e-mail and search for information had left the shop because they did not want to wait for such a long time.
Tourists wanting to send New Year’s greetings to their families have had to wait a long time, while others have given up because the signal has disconnected. 

Another internet shop near the Lao National Culture Hall had few customers yesterday, and one of the shop’s assistants, Ms Kham, said income had fallen from 300,000 kip to 100,000 kip per day. She said the customers had complained about the slowdown, but she could do nothing about it.

She added that the internet provider had no answer when asked when the signal would return to normal, and if the problems continued, they would have a greater impact on the internet business.

According to internet management officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, around 20,000 houses and businesses have access to the internet in Laos.
Mr Viengsavanh advised Lao people to use the internet when fewer people would be online, such as during lunch or in the evening, when signals should be somewhat faster.

By Ekaphone Phouthonesy
(Latest Update December 29, 2006)


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 351

Taksin,outsted prime mister of Thailand,has the only world's first  sattlelite that can help SDSL internet directly from the sky not cable.Anywhere in Laos shall be able to access internet without wiring cost and wasted time.So pitiful that low cost Laos-Taksin project with these faccilities was given up by new Thai gov.

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