Hanaro? More Like HanaNO.


I am strongly considering changing Internet Service Providers. I feel like a fool paying each month and having–since the end of summer, basically–such poor-quality service. If anyone knows a really good ISP in Korea, and would like to recommend on, I’m all ears.

Because, you know, when you use the internet everyday, and when you’re paying almost W40,000 a month (almost forty dollars) for internet service, you find it extremely frustrating to have your connection go down for, oh, half a day here and half a day there. This is what I’ve been experiencing lately.

Now, the Hanaro staff I’ve talked to, all except one person, have been as helpful as possible. They’ve all walked me through the same useless procedure to check why my connection isn’t happening. They’ve all been really sorry when it hasn’t worked.

Likewise, the technician who came by yesterday to replace and recalibrate my modem was very friendly and helpful. He said he’s certain it’s NOT a problem with their hardware in the area, or with the Hanaro system.

Which means, somehow, magically, something is switching on and off inside my computer, is that it? Does that make sense? Because all of a sudden, I can’t connect, and then a few hours later, I can again.

Maybe it’s my experience from going to one or two films in small Korean cinemas and finding more tickets were sold than there are seats, but I am feeling a slight tendency here to believe that rumor I’ve heard that internet companies here simply oversell subscriptions to their service, beyond the point where their hardware can support it. Then, a certain number of people get booted for a certain amount of time per day, and that’s just it.

Given how patient many Korean people are–I was the only person in the movie theater who didn’t complain about waiting 30 minutes for a refund for my oversold ticket, and there’s another instance where I was the only person in the cinema willing to complain about a movie that was ridiculously out of focus–I wouldn’t be surprised if only a minimum number of customers complained about the downtime. Or maybe everyone else was smart and quietlypolitely made an exodus a while ago?

(In any case, considering the fact that I experienced this before with the same company, in another city, I’m inclined to think it’s organizational incompetence; after I switched, I had occasional problems, but it was nothing like the problems I had with Hanaro. And really, it fits with business philosophy: go ahead and provide a crap service if it saves you money more money than you lose… that’s the basis of many a business plan in this world.)

That said, it might well be that there is some other issue that’s coming into play. Is there some kind of unspoken bandwidth-max that can be reached, after which someone is booted for a certain amount of time? I don’t think so, given the speed and commonness of BitTorrent and other P2P usage in Korea; but it might be so. Does anyone know?

Anyway, if you can recommend a company to me–preferably one you’re using and not having trouble with–please do so. I’m very net-dependent and even I am getting sick of hearing myself rant about this.

On the bright side, though, I’ve almost finished drafting another short story. It’s another VR thing, vaguely set in the same world as thenovel I’m drafting but in an earlier stage of history, and you have to really be paying attention to catch the fact that it is set in the same world.

3 thoughts on “Hanaro? More Like HanaNO.

  1. When I first moved to Seoul I also had hanaro but switched to KT as soon as I could because I constantly had the same problems you describe. What was frustrating was the fact that Hanaro refused to take responsibility.
    I’m not sure how your apartment is set up but next time you lose connection try this – if you’re using windows, go to a command prompt and type ipconfig/all which will give you your IP info. There, you’ll see the IP address for your default gateway. Now type Ping xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx where the xxx’s are the Ip for your default gateway. As long as you can ping that IP address, you’ve got a physical link to the router in your apartment complex. If you can’t ping that IP address, then somehow you’ve lost the physical link which means there’s a problem with the line between you and that equipment. If you can ping the router, then try to ping beyond the router by typing Ping http://www.yahoo.com which will tell you if you’re getting out beyond the apartment equipment.
    These are the kinds of simple things the technician should be trying when he comes out to check your connection.

  2. Thanks guys. I think I’ll try Thrunet, since a co-worker recommended them and noted they have an English-language help support number available. I’m guessing I’ll have to put off the switch until after the Jeonju Sori Festival, but anyway, I will do it soon!

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