An intrepid thief poses as a Shanghai Telecom worker
Users of Shanghai Telecom’s fiber optic internet were surprised last week when they found their internet speeds had been upgraded overnight from 2Mb and 4Mb, to 10Mb, 20Mb and even 30Mb! Though the upgrade is free, some entrepreneurial conmen (and women) cashed in on the opportunity by showing up on people’s doorsteps asking for “upgrade fees” from unsuspecting residents!
Shanghai Telecom held a press conference on Monday afternoon revealing that after two years and 26 billion RMB of network transformation, Shanghai has become a leading city for fiber optic capabilities, with over 10 million subscribers.
One of the benefits in the network transformation is a free speed upgrade for all of Shanghai Telecom’s existing customers.
A Shanghai Telecom official stressed that this network speed increase is completely free, but some driven crooks have taken advantage of the upgrade by going door-to-door and cashing in on unwary customers. The criminals are posing as Telecom staff performing on-site service, and then ask residents to pay a so-called “upgrade fee.”
When we heard the news we eagerly checked SpeedTest, a global broadband speed test, which reported download speeds of 20Mb (we’re signed up for 10Mb service) and upload speeds of 1Mb.
Of course, these speeds are really only beneficial when connecting within the mainland, so differences of tenfold from an already throttled 10Mb connection aren’t that phenomenal when hopping over the Great Firewall. YouTube speeds have remained the same, and P2P connections are still crippled.
We could always hop on Xunlei and download 240p .RMVB copies of 90s Hollywood movies with Chinese hardsubs at 20MB in “under an hour” (according to the article), but if we wanted low-quality crap we’d shell out 5RMB for a DVD and save the space on our hard drive.
For those of you still suffering through ADSL, Telecom’s fiber rates are as follows: first two months free trial, 8M (259 yuan / month), 12M (319 yuan / month), 20M (499 yuan / month).
Our SpeedTest results were promising, but you’re not going to be seeing these speeds anywhere but inside our mighty GFW overlord.
Note: All speeds listed are in megabits (Mb), not megabytes (MB). At 8bits per Byte, a 10Mb connection will max out around 1.25MB/second