Anyone looking to upgrade their internet, this is a pretty good plan. I just moved here and didn't have internet at home yet so I jumped on the promotion that started Nov. 11.2009: for about 2200rmb you get 13 months of broadband (10 months prepaid + 3 months free bonus). For 1800rmb you can go for the lower 4Mbps.
So far the connection has been solid, I've been [over]downloading all day at mostly full speed (7-8Mbps). It's surpising how quickly almost 36GB gets downloaded! On a side note if you're testing your broadband connection with an online speedtest you might not see the full bandwidth being used, so it might take multiple applications downloading to see the full bandwidth being used at its peak. It helps to have some kind of network bandwidth monitor running at the same time to see your performance. If you're running Windows Vista or 7 you can quickly add a "Network Meter" gadget to your Gadgets panel.
You can go online to the China Telecom site to apply for the service, after that they will call you to arrange the install - for me that meant the very next day. The installation took almost 2 hrs cuz they installed a new telephone line (so I have to cancel my previous one), and also they will hook up your TV to their IPtv set-top box which connects to the modem they provide. That means you might want to have your modem installed near your TV, they will make a custom length phone cable long enough for you for that purpose. Let me talk about the modem cuz it's worth some attention. I'm a tech-geek so when something impresses me it's really got "the goods".
The modem is a Huawei EchoLife HG522-c. It's a modem, wirelss b+g router, 4 port network switch, AND photo frame all packaged in a nice white glossy plastic, reminiscent of whilte Apple products. It looks nice placed anywhere as it's well disguised as a photoframe. Just keep in mind that a whole bunch of wires will be sticking out the back of this thing. The only bad thing is that it only has a Chinese language management web interface. Configuring was simple eventhough my Chinese reading is limited. Just remember to change your passwords, and wifi security. Note: the wifi SSID has to be named with a "ChinaNet-" prefix.
Pictures and description here:
Everyone have a downloading happy!!