I got this netbook from my friend when he bought a new one. All it needed was a charger and it was up and running again. I wiped his HD and installed Debian (crunchbang) and noticed immediately that the network connection (wired) was very slow. Updating and Upgrading was taking forever!
After it finished, I tried to use scp to move a larger file from one computer on the network to it. The .iso for crunchbang moved at a whopping 9 MB/s. Updating and Upgrading was a bit better, at around 30 kB/s. Using netselect-apt to find the fastest mirror bumped that up to 212 kB/s.
I don't expect gigabit speeds over my network, but I wouldexpect around 100 Mb/s for local.
I can get more info if needed. It's not the cable, I've tried three (including the ones that I use for my desktops) and it's always the same.
wget --output-document=/dev/null http://speedtest.qsc.de/1GB.qsc shows my download speed at 27.5K/s, and it topped at around 60.2K/s for a few seconds before dropping back down.
Using the newest images for the distro, the speed is just fine. When it's finished upgrading and setting everything up, I might be able to compare what was set up before with what is being used now to figure out what the issue was. I much prefer the older version of the distro, but won't be on this computer much anyway.