Compiled at my Singapore hotel upon arrival and despatched to silicon.com on the day of my departure from Changi Airport via a free wi-fi service
Having arrived in Singapore during the late afternoon, I went for a walk to help my body normalise after the flight.
Within the first 50 metres I came across a crew sitting under huge umbrellas, splicing optical fibres at the side of the road.
I stood and watched for a while and recognised the tools, equipment and techniques which were all developed some 20 years ago and now are mostly automated and precisely controlled.
Here are some photos of what I saw:
I later found that the Singapore government has a policy and a plan. They are rolling out fibre everywhere and the target is 1Gbps to every home and office over the next few years.
So it will happen – when the Singaporeans formulate a plan, they stick to it and the job gets done.
After my walk I decided to log-on and catch up on my email but everything seemed very slow. I did a speed check and I was getting close to 1Mbps on both uploads and downloads on my hotel LAN. Huh. This didn’t stack up – optical fibre to the hotel but only 1Mbps to my room?
Was there something wrong? I checked with the manager and he assured me that 1Mbps was the norm and this was considered to be broadband. I decided to just look surprised and be magnanimous. When you are a guest in a country, it is always best to be polite!
I made enquires and did a few tests on public sites, and it seems 1Mbps is a widespread norm for Singapore. I also tried my 3G dongle but could never get more than about 0.9Mbps. Strangely, a lot of my contacts seemed to accept that this rate is sufficient.
There seemed to be a paradox here. The Singapore government clearly gets it but it might be that some of the public don’t – certainly my hotel manager didn’t. Contrast this to the UK where the public gets it but the government doesn’t.
You can watch a video I shot while in Thailand, about their broadband here.