Explanation of Our Internet Problems, Sort Of

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
Trip End Jun 29, 2011

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Flag of China  , Jiangsu,
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This morning after my class, I went to the internet office and luckily found someone who spoke English.  I spent 15 minutes explaining and illustrating the problems we've been having, and she translated our talk for her boss.  I caught some of what they were saying, and as the woman listed all the websites I'd used as examples of ones that weren't working, her boss laughed.  All the websites were foreign ones.  

The woman and her boss ultimately decided that, censorship issues aside, our dorm's DNS could be bad, so they agreed to send someone to my room at noon to check it.  

The person showed up at around 12:30 and connected his computer to the internet in my room.  He noticed, as we (the foreign teachers) have, that foreign websites don't load but Chinese ones do.

He called his boss, who was probably the same man from earlier, and his boss told him to tell us that because we agreed to come to China, we needed to "follow the law of China."  Meaning, basically, that part of the problem is the government's crack down on censorship leading up to the anniversary of the Communist Party of China on July 1st, and that we need to stop protesting about it.

The two also told us that our dorm borrows its server from China Telecom.  The other buildings on campus have their own servers, but because of some monetary issue, our dorm doesn't.  China Telecom is supposedly doing upgrades this week, and our internet should be better by Friday.

I have a feeling it won't be, and I also worry that our internet will continue to work poorly or not at all for the rest of our time here.  

Again, I leave seven weeks from today.  Two or three of those weeks will be spent away from Zhenjiang, the internet, and civilization as I know it.

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