Sunday, December 30, 2007

Daylight Robbery?

When I inserted an update in Celebrate, with a video of Adam and The Ants, it was done with a particular purpose in mind.

2 days prior to the entry, my cousin Azman who was visiting me, had complaint of the slow connection he' been getting. Since he is a heavy user - constantly downloading movies and TV series - he finds it really irritating when the downloading time he gets sometimes reaches 20 percent of the normal speed he gets. And when he found out that I, under normal circumstances, gets about 600 to 700 kilo bytes per second, he was quite infuriated as I use my connection for news items, emails and blogging purposes. Further, as he has his own modem and pays RM66 per month for the 1MB package, he thought he was getting a raw deal. I then asked him to call Streamyx Hotline at 1-300-88-9515, and make inquiries, to which he did. What he found out was that he was not subscribed to the package he wanted; instead of the 1MB package, he has been using the 512! He then changed his subscription, and along with it an increase of RM10 per month. That made me wonder: did the fault of wrongly placed subscription lies in Azman, or the sales personnel of the company, bearing in mind that Azman is rather competent on such matters.

Then, on the day of the entry, a friend text me with almost the same problem. I then asked her to check the connection speed at tmnet. Now, for my streamyx-user friends who are not made aware of such things, well, you can check your connection speed at that site by choosing stremyx at the choice, and then selecting 'Bandwidth Test' on the right-most panel. Once in the test page, make sure of the correct criteria before clicking 'Start Test' and later 'Go". But please make sure you have no application running during the test as it may affect the result, which may take less than one minute.

What ever the package you have, the result should show a minimum of 70% of the connection speed you ought to have. For instance, if you are using the IMB package, then the result shoul be at least 700kbps (right hand most of the panel). If anything lesser, and that it is persistent, you should call the Hotline and make a complaint; TMNet should resolve your complaint withing 2 working days. Should they fail, you as a consumer have the right to lodge a complaint at Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia ( either by email or by telephone call. Perhaps it should interest you to know that in December 2004, CfM managed to register a Code of Practice which is applicable to all user and registered service providers in the Communications and Multimedia Industry. Failure by the service provider to adhere to the code (available at cfm or the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission at, could result in a possible action by MCMC.

Another point of interest is that CfM has also registered a sub-code (Internet Service Provider Sub-Code)with the MCMC which specifically deals with the grievance of consumer within this context.

Now, apart for the complaints by my 2 friends above, I came across Raslan Sharif's column in The Star, December 28, 2007, which I reproduce below here.

Raslan mentioned 4 million internet dial-up consumers in this country, and I remember reading Raja Petra's article that there are 6 million broadband users. Fine, I'm not going to argue with them as they are more knowledgeable on the matter. However, I do question the data by MCMC: how many of the total consumers are homes users, and how many non-home users? MCMC may have such details which I am not privy to. But let us say the ratio is 50-50, which means there are only 5 million Internet home users, of which many are still using the dial-up services, which is rather sad for a country geared for the so called speedy information-transfer age. Which brings me to this joke I was told by a top civil service officer several years back.

When a high ranking delegation of the Kementerian Tenaga, Air dan Komunikasi together with the MCMC, visited the Thai government in Bangkok, the ministry counterpart inquired on the progress of Internet penetration in Malaysia. One lady officer proudly mentioned "Oh! Last year (can't remember the year), we connected 80 schools in Sabah alone!", to which the counterpart exlaimed "Oh! That's very good!".
Then, as though (I stress the 2 words)trying to rub it in, a Malaysian officer asked his counterpart "What about your country, how is your progress (in Internet penetration)?"
The Thai officer then put out some documents and nonchalantly said "Oh! Last year we connected 1,000 schools". The Malaysian delegation then sat quietly.

Back to Raslan's column. Even though I am an avid user of the Internet, I wonder how the notion of a wireless city would affect the people on the street, those who can ill afford their very children's daily expenses, let alone purchasing a computer. RM60 million just to set up hotspots in Kuala Lumpur in the first phase, and more to be spent at later phases! Let me just end with this: my tyre rims have been dented several times while driving in KL, just because DBKL would not, or could not ensure the city roads are well maintained and without potholes which persist for months on end and becomes deeper with every passing day. And this is because the mayor wants KL turned into a well-connected world class city? Pardon me while I...

ps. Having read Raslan's column, would I then be right to suggest the Adam and The Ant's video far from being wrong in this issue?


Kata Tak Nak said...

You are damn right about the connection speed. I am hopeless when it comes to these things. The last I checked my connection speed was about 500+ and I am subscribed to 1mb. Bad right?

When downloading, on good days I get abot 150 to 160kb which would eventually go down to about 70 to 80kb sometimes much lower. Your advise?

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

You certainly should lodge a complaint - first to TmNet, and when they cannot fix your problem satisfactorily, only then to CfM. B right you should have a speed of 700kbps at the very least.

As was in my case which was fixed less than a week ago, they changed the modem f.o.c.

Cikgu, when you call Streamyx, kindly determine your package first with the personnel there, as there might be some confusion over the exact package you've subscribed to.
If so confirmed by the personnel that you are using the 1MB, then you also have the right to request for rebates in future bills, depending on how long the problem has been plaguing you.