Internet Users Frustrated by Continuing Interrupted Connections
16 December 2010: Internet Cafe owners and users in Kalay Myo, Sagaing Division, as well as, some towns in Chin State have expressed frustration over slow internet connections since Burma’s national elections last month.
One local Internet user in Kalay Myo told Chinland Guardian: “As the connection is so bad some Internet shops are closed while others are open at irregular times. This has happened since weeks before the elections in early November. This is so frustrating but nothing we can do really.”
“It has already been over a month that the Internet communication is interrupted. Especially these days, we are not sure how to run our business as customers are getting confused and complaining about the connections to us,” said an Internet Cafe owner in Chin State.
Meanwhile, villagers in Kachin and Shan States are said to have been warned of retaliation from the local authorities for voting agianst the military government-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) during the November 7 elections. Residents in some townships of Arakan State also reported intimidation and threats from the military regime.
“Some Internet shops are open only in early morning and late at night when the connection is good and closed during the day. We are all cut off communications from our family members, friends and relatives living in foreign countries,” said a local resident in Kalay Myo, who asks not to be named for security reasons.
There have been reports of Internet connections being slowed down and cut off regularly, leading to a declining number of Internet surfers mainly in bigger cities across the country since Burma’s military-planned 2010 Elections held on 7 November.
Burma has the Internet services in the country since 2000, with the military dictatorship restricting Internet access through software-based censorship. With Myanmar Teleport, formerly Bagan Cyber Tech and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (MPT) as the only two Internet service providers in the country, Burma has got over 400,000 Internet users with the vast majority of the users hailing from the two largest cities, Yangon and Mandalay, as of July 2010.
It is claimed that the number of users outside Yangon and Mandalay is just over 10,000 although 42 cities across the country now have access to the Internet.
Van Biak Thang