June 28th, 2007

The Sad State of Wireless@SG

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Nine months ago, I whined about how I was unable to get any wifi access in Funan, the IT hub in Singapore. With the launch of Wireless@SG in Dec last year, this is suppose to solve that problem.

Or is it more like this?


Thats what I got when I am back in the same place in Funan today. I spend 2 hours in the cafe in between my meetings and more than half of the time I am fighting to get connectivity. It is horrible and frustrating experience.

Now, you may say it is an one-off experience but actually it is pretty common.

I have seen being to places where it is suppose to have Wireless@SG coverage but no signal. I have gotten signal but the DHCP does not work. I have gotten both signal and IP address but no connectivity. I have gotten connectivity but DNS not functioning. I have gotten everything to work except it is extremely slow or with very high packet loses.

I like to hang out in Rochester Park lately and for the last 4 weeks, they have a non-functioning Wireless@SG signal there. It works for a couple of week before that. When it goes down, I thought the operator monitoring will pick up and get it fixed. 4 weeks now, I lost all hope they will ever get it fixed. I check with IDA website only to tell me to contact the operator. I email the operator and I get no response.

Finding a functioning Wireless@SG is as rare as striking lottery.

I cannot help but compare my experience in Kuala Lumpur. It is true that I get free wireless only at Starbuck (hence less coverage) but it works most of the time. A sharp contrast with a larger coverage Wireless@SG which DONT work most of the time. I rather take the former.

But heck, I shouldn’t complain right? It is “FREE” service.

No, sorry, it isnt free. It is paid for by IDA and some part of that money comes from the tax I pay. So long IDA pays for it, then make sure it actually works. This is not a community best-effort or FON network – it is a network paid for by tax-payer money.

ps: IDA already knew the problem, I am told. They had done their study on the quality of Wireless@SG. I am just ranting here because I am really frustrated at the 2 hours I wasted trying to get the Wireless@SG to work.

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