He said, "The internet connections in Sittwe were not so bad in the past and photos and file attachments could be sent relatively quickly at any of the internet shops. Currently, the internet connections in every shop in Sittwe are very slow and we can not send any attachments or photos."
The slow connection speed in the Sittwe is suspected to be related to politics, not technical issues, said one youth from Sittwe.
"We can use the internet shop in Sittwe for chatting at present. We are unable to visit any website, even though in the past we were able to connect to websites through proxy servers in the past, even though some were prohibited by the authority. I think the election is getting close, so the authority has imposed these restrictions on the internet in Sittwe," he said.
In August, some political parties in Sittwe distributed some statements and photos related to their activities through the internet. The internet connections became slow shortly after.
The authorities were unable to take action against the political parties that had used the internet for their campaign, so they slowed the connection speed so people could not send any big files such as the party statements and photos through the internet," said another user.
Currently, it takes users about three hours to send a large file attachment through email, and many internet users have stopped going to the cafes.
A student from Sittwe said, "Internet fees in Sittwe are a little bit high. We have to pay 500 kyat per hour. We can not sit in the internet shop for three hours to send an email. If we did, we'd have to spend 1,500 kyats just for sending one letter. So we don't visit the internet shops right now."
As the number of customers visiting the internet shops has fallen, the shops are suffering from lost profits. There are ten internet shops in Sittwe, and all are now losing money on running their businesses.