On a good day, things are pretty good here. However, when it comes to internet access, it is ferociously frustrating.
I actually took some steps to see just how much decent internet really costs. My understanding is that there is one ISP in TL, going by the name iNet. It resells Timor Telecom bandwidth and is the only player. It is a slim, sleek organisation with limited overheads but it too, is beholden to Timor Telecom’s telecomms monopoly.
As far as I can tell, so-called broadband internet here means 128k and 256k DSL links which cost over USD1,000 in initial set-up costs and over USD700 per month. Most of this really goes to Timor Telecom and I was told that TT were about to put internet access prices … wait for it … up !
I now know that most of the internet cafes really have only 128k connections. This explains why a full 10-person cafe is almost totally brought to a grinding halt. And it makes a mockery of the thought that going to an internet cafe might be significantly faster than a modem connection. And it makes the 5 minutes of downloads/updates that I did in a real world internet cafe in OZ a few months back look absolutely sensuous compared to the weeks it might have taken to get it done here.
Internet cafes … sensuous … time for a holiday ?