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Cost reduction more practical

  • Perhaps TM should consider lowering the cost to alleviate the burden of average Malaysians, as unnecessary speed upgrades could be meaningless to them.

Sin Chew Daily

TM has announced its internet speed upgrade program, offering enhanced services for existing customers without extra charge beginning August 15.

TM will also launch a new "enhanced" service called UniFi Turbo to increase the internet speeds of existing UniFi customers by two to ten times up to a maximum of 800Mbps.

This marks a quantum leap in the country's two-decade history of internet cruising.

Prior to this, internet experience and service quality of internet providers have been anything but desirable.

It took TM several years to increase the speed from 384Kbps to 1Mbps during the Streamyx time. Owing to the DSL technology used, Streamyx could only go as far as 8Mbps. Thanks to UniFi with its fiber optics broadband much later on, we have managed to enjoy packages from 5 up to 100Mbps.

We started with 56Kbps in 1995 through dial-up internet access. It took us six whole years before we entered the age of Streamyx fixed line broadband with an initial a speed of 384Kbps.

Nine years later in 2010, TM introduced UniFi fiber optics high-speed internet (from 5Mbps), but the cost has been forbidding for some.

Save for places where UniFi is unavailable and customers have to fork out exorbitant costs to enjoy high-speed Streamyx service (8Mbps at RM168 per month), UniFi customers now pay RM120 for 10Mbps, RM139 for 30Mbps (promotional rate, original price RM179), and RM329 for 100Mbps.

Based on 10Mbps at RM120, our internet charge is significantly higher than regional countries such as Thailand (50Mbps at RM75), Singapore (1Gbps at RM134) and South Korea (100Mbps at RM60).

The speedy cooperation by TM which controls all the internet resources in the country, after a change of federal administration serves to underscore a clear message that Malaysians should have been able to enjoy 100Mbps fiber optics broadband services for only RM100 at least since five years ago.

Unfortunately, due to market monopoly, we have been denied the privilege of enjoying fast internet at more acceptable prices. If not because of the pressure from the new multimedia minister, there is no chance we can enjoy "100Mbps for RM100" anytime soon.

Under the internet speed upgrade program, TM customers will be entitled to accelerated speeds at no extra charge while newly registered users will only enjoy the upgraded services from next year.

Internet speed will be increased by up to ten times, for example from 30Mbps to 300Mbps at the same prices of RM139.

To most Malaysians, 30Mbps is more than enough for them to enjoy internet streaming, and only those keen to download large volumes of HD movies will come to appreciate 300Mbps.

As such, instead of free speed upgrades, perhaps TM should consider lowering the cost to alleviate the burden of average Malaysians, as unnecessary speed upgrades could be meaningless to them.



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