Aleppo and the deplorable state of broadband access
I would have thought I'd find a decent internet connection somewhere in Aleppo, but alas. No such thing seems to be commercially available.
Cheap internet bars: if you listen carefully, you hear the bleeping of the 56K modem under the counter
Expensive internet bars: free wifi but crappy connection.
Five star Sheraton: disgustingly expensive, yet crappy connection.
Friendly sales manager of the Syrian ISP: super broadband! He offered me one of their offices, complete with steady wifi and true broadband access. Totally for free, because he's a cool guy.
I'm saved for the moment, but I wonder how other foreigners manage to find a decent wifi connection in this town...
UPDATE: I've been explained that there are three kinds of internet connection available in Syria: dial-up, satellite download with dial-up upload and dedicated lines. ADSL is in an experimental stage and currently down. Only the first two types of internet connection are remotely affordable - the dedicated lines start at around 2000 US$ / month. Until the current monopoly is broken, these prices won't change...
That explains why only some office buildings and internet cafÃ©s in the most expensive quarters have a decent connection.