The number of Internet Service Providers (ISP) is increasing, as is the number of internet subscribers, and the market is heating up in consequence. Dozens of promotional programs have been launched by local ISPs who want to capture as much market share as possible.
|Vietnamese subscribers surf the Net at a much slower rate than advertised (Photo: Hoang Uy)|
The maximum broadband rates of every type of service are contained in the local ISPs’ service contracts.
They vary from 5,536 kbps to 8 Mbps for downloads and from 512 kbps to 640 kbps for uploads, depending on the type of service.
However, none of the service contracts include the minimum rate, and customers recognize that ADSL’s broadband rate now is equal to the aging dial-ups’.
Untruth in advertising
The internet service Mediate, of SCTV and EVN Telecom, is advertised to reach a speed of 2Mbps. But Hai Thanh, who is a Mediate subscriber, said that it takes him ten minutes to download a 1 Mb file, about 150 times slower than the advertised rate.
The Quang, who uses FPT, was upset when the broadband rate of 200 – 300 kbps at the outset was reduced to 10 – 25 kbps.
Dinh Toan complained about the internet at his house in District 10: “It’s always unstable, unlike the advertisement. The internet was fast at the outset but it gradually got slower and slower. The broadband rate in the morning is less than 50 kbps”.
An internet user at the Dong Nai Province Post Office, nicknamed “lamtamnhu”, said that it was time to sue the deceitful ISPs. He is angry that the internet rate has never even reached half of the advertised rate of 512 Mbps.
Do Quoc Huy, a Viettel internet subscriber in Buon Me Thuoc Province, usually has to deal with an unstable connection and the problem can be acute for several days at a time.
“Two minutes only”
FPT advertises their ADSL service on their website: “Comparisons between ADSL and dial-up show that it takes two hours to download a 10-Mb file by using dial-up while only two minutes using ADSL”.
Tuoi Tre checked the claim at an FPT internet shop by trying to download a 2.5Mb file on a local website and another file of the same size at a foreign one.
The result was a resounding “no,” when it took 15 minutes to download the file with a connection rate of 5 kbps on the foreign website and 10 minutes with a rate of 6 kbps on the local one.
The actual connection rate, obviously, is much slower than the one printed in the service contract.
The customer is rarely right?
Aside from the poor broadband quality, ISPs’ customer service often does not meet the needs of internet users.
Most internet subscribers are very disappointed when ISPs’ customer service departments blame PC viruses, modems, poor PC system configurations or even broken cables for the slow broadband.
Toan said he has given up because “all internet services in Viet Nam have the same problem”.
Hoang The Quang, an FPT internet subscriber in Ho Chi Minh City, complained that FPT’s IT assistance department always promises to come to his house to fix the problem but never shows up.
Huynh Van Tam, who runs an internet shop in the city, said the broadband at his shop runs smoothly only when the IT assistants turn up. When they leave, the problem comes back.