I was reading Desmond's blog on the 9th Malaysia Plan and how Malaysia hopes to increase Broadband usage among internet users in the country. I think before the country proceeds with this ambitious plan, it first needs to improve the current broadband service. Cuthess is always complaining about how poor the service is and how she is always disconnected whenever she is online. And the supposed 1 Mbps connection speed is never what it is .. you'll be lucky if you get 500 kpbs.
I've only had DSL for a little over a year now and takes the faster connection speed for granted. I was at my in-laws' place this past weekend. My father-in-law is an avid internet user but he is still using dial-up. I was on his computer looking at my blogs ... wow, what the h*@%k?! How come the pictures on my blog take forever to download? And I take pains to make my picture files small, always bearing in mind there are those that are still on dial-up. So I told my father-in-law, "You are SO yesterday! About time you get yourself high speed internet connection!". He didn't understand the part about being "so yesterday". Heheh, I had to explain to him.
Doug was there when I told my father-in-law that, and Doug being Doug, told his father, "Hey, why don't you put up a directional antennas, and I'm sure you can find high speed internet connection in this area and use that!" Haha, cheap-skate that he is, wants his father to "tumpang" somebody's high speed internet connection! Actually, my mother-in-law's laptop with the built in WI-FI card did find a hot spot, but it was encryted with a password so she was not able to get connected. My neigbours can easily use my high speed connection because it is not encryted with a password but Doug tells me that if I see blinking lights on my router, and I am not using my internet, someone is using my connection! :-)
I have seen ads on TV about satellite internet connection. I don't know how good it is, but the neighbour at the end of our private road has one. He did not realize that DSL service was already available in our area when he got his satellite internet service. Anyway, he had to spend quite a bit for the modem and the service compared to what we are paying for our DSL service. When I had to renew my subscription last December, I told Doug to bargain the price to the then current promotion price which was only $16.99 per month! I have to pay $26.99 per month! Sheeeshh! And that is lower than the usual price of $34.99 Today, I checked the latest promotion, it is only $12.99!! What the h*%#@k! Why am I stuck with that old promotion rate?! Oh ok, that low $12.99 per month is only for 6 months ... sheeesss, the games these people play! One must be careful to read the fine print in any of the contracts that one signs with these companies!
Going back to Malaysia's plan to increase broadband usage. I think it is about time the government allows local internet service providers. TMnet and Jaring have had it good for too long and it is about time other people get a share of the pie. It is also time for a fixed ISP rate. Say RM 20 for unlimited internet usage on dial-up. How can you encourage more internet usage when every minute you are online costs you money? If the government allows private internet service providers, I would jump on that bandwagon too! Yes, I'd start my own internet service and also provide subscription wi-fi service! Be as good a time as any to get that bumiputra loan to start a business! :-)
I guess it will be a long time before free WI-Fi is going to be available in Malaysia. Google is gong to provide San Francisco with free WI-FI service for all its residents. Lucky people! And most major cities in the US will have access to free WI-FI service in the next 5 years.
To end off this entry, here's a funny article on how you can steal WI-FI. Hey, Mag, you already know how, eh! :-)