We tend to give our ISPs a lot more flak than compliments. Malaysia’s Streamyx has received more than its fair share of brickbats but their services have improved greatly. I’ve been using their 2MBps package for some time now and recently they called me up and gave me an incentive to upgrade to the 4MBps package for just an additional $10 a month. To top it off the technician came to my apartment the very next day and I received a D-Link modem/router combo absolutely free of charge (I’m keeping it as a backup since I already have my existing D-Link modem and Linksys router) I was a little disappointed when the guy said the 4MBps speed would only be activated in a few days. However, an hour after she left my fingers grew twitchy and I went to the Speedtest site. I expected the download speed to be hovering around 2MBps but was pleasantly surprised to see the results above. Thank you very much, Streamyx!
This has never happened to me before, since going online about 12 years ago. I’m referring to an Internet outage which occurred locally in Malaysia yesterday. It affected thousands of users in four states—Perlis, Kedah, Perak, and Penang. I’ve learnt through experience that if my Internet conks out unexpectedly, the fault is usually at the ISP’s end, unless I forgot to pay my broadband bill (I have that on auto payment anyway). It went south about 4:30 PM local time yesterday, and dang—it was hard for me! To be cut off from the rest of the world, yikes! No email, no Windows Live Messenger, no browsing, ugh.
So I did the most reasonable thing. Called up the ISP, of course I had to wait—I guess they were deluged with calls from thousands of irate and frustrated Net users. I suppose it’s no point for me to vent my anger on them—when I finally spoke to someone they told me to wait it out. I go to bed, awake today, and boot up the computer. Any Internet? Nope, no luck. Still out. Called them again, they gave me the stock reply that their technicians were hard at work on it. Patience, patience. Alright, let me see—I’ll go do a mundane chore like ironing clothes. I pop in a Mahler CD into my computer—ah bliss. Bernard Haitink conducting Mahler’s 6th with the Berlin Philharmonic (what a fantastic performance). Soon I’m engrossed (yeah, believe it or not) with my ironing, until Network Magic beeps and that’s the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard—the Internet’s back! Yay!
What with the damaged undersea cables earlier this month and now this, I figured TM Net (my blessed ISP) should give a rebate or refund of this month’s bill to me. Yeah, dream on. As if they would be so gracious.
The Internet here in Penang, Malaysia has been slow as molasses since the beginning of April. The cause? A damaged undersea cable linking Penang and Singapore. TM Net informed users in their website that restoration work should be completed by April 9, 2009. Today I checked their website and was angry to find this notice:
UPDATE – INTERNET SERVICES RESTORATION
Dear Valued Customers,
Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) is pleased to inform its customers that the restoration works on the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2) near Chongming, China connecting Malaysia to the United States has been completed.
Meanwhile, there is a delay in the restoration date for the Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 3 (SMW3) cable network between Tuas, Singapore and Penang linking Malaysia due to technical problems at the repairing stages. Due to the delay, full recovery of SMW3 cable network is now expected to be on 17 April 2009.
However, to date, TM has already recovered 97% bandwidth capacity for its Internet traffic to Hong Kong and North America.
TM Internet and IP services as well as other critical business applications linked to the US and Hong Kong has resumed normal operations since 10 April 2009.
We would like to thank our customers for their patience during the affected period. Customers can call TM at 100 and select “Internet Services” or e-mail us at email@example.com for any Internet related problems.
WTF, now they say that full recovery of the SMW3 cable is now pushed forward to April 17? And they have the audacity to say that they have recovered 97% bandwidth? What a load of BS, it feels more like 9.7%! It’s late now but I plan to call them up tomorrow and give them a piece of my mind. And I’d like a refund if you don’t mind, you stupid morons.
Here in Malaysia the main provider of broadband to the masses is TM Net, which offers its Streamyx (or Screamyx, to its unhappy users) broadband packages to users like myself. I started off with the 512KBps package in 2004, and upgraded to the 1 MBps package shortly thereafter. Yes I know, this is what people in other countries call a “fast dialup.” To me it’s really like third-class broadband, but at least it’s broadband.
Streamyx’ service and speed have gone down the tubes since last year. Slow access to international websites is one of the most frequent complaints. The main problem is the monopoly TM Net holds over broadband in this country. From what I’ve read, other broadband service providers here have to piggy-back on TM Net’s network of cables and whatever in order to serve consumers. So that means they have to pass on these charges to us. That gives TM Net an edge in pricing and availability. And that sucks.
I’m sick of their fluctuating speeds. It’s normal one week, and then slow the next. They have mentioned time and again about rolling out high-speed broadband, but it’s always only talk. Our neighbor to the south aka Singapore has had high-speed broadband for ages, up to 10 MBps (visit the Singtel website and see for yourself). Singapore’s broadband penetration for consumers is a staggering 99.9%, whereas in Malaysia it’s around 21%. Read all about it here. Can’t blame people for not signing up if the service and speed is so bloody awful.
These people responsible need to be given several good kicks in their arses to improve the broadband service. I tell you, I’d ditch Streamyx without a thought if Singtel were able to offer their broadband services here.
Here endeth my rant.