Since the last 5 years I’ve used at least 5 types of broadband. The first one is the whatever they used in the cybercafe. For that I usually pay for around $1/hour for the best speed though I’d have to share with other customers where the performance may deteriorate with the increment of users. The second one is my office connection where it connects to the internet on its own network. The second best speed I could get, not because it’s slow by default but because it’s shared with thousands of users at one time. Then I have free public wifi which is available under the government’s broadband initiative but access/coverage is extremely limited. After that I subscribed to some 3G plans. Introduced in the country sometime in 2006, for the first time Malaysian could enjoy wider coverage of broadband over the conventional yet limited availability of landline internet, albeit a bit slower. It was also the cheapest and most stable (though capped). However after years of implementation the connection quality has dropped beyond acceptable, with no sign of improvement anytime soon. Often only the plan name changed and rebranded but the services are still like the same old wine but in new bottles (WiMax and LTE is not an option because the former is still very limited in coverage and expensive while the latter is not yet available locally)
Last year I finally gave up my 3G subscription after years being trolled by it. I switched to landline and since then I’m not looking back anymore. It’s the 5th kind of broadband I used and not the best either but I’m not looking back anymore. At the expense of mobility I got uncapped internet, though torrent is throttled (I couldn’t get beyond the default max speed). The decision was made after I found my expenses on 3G connection was not much different from landline broadband subscription (because I usually purchased extra bandwidth after I exhausted the monthly allocated quota), and the speed offered by landline is way faster than 3G.
I’m not going to speak about the broadband itself here but I’d like to to talk about the acceptable cost of broadband. Speaking of expenses on broadband for me it depends on the service and features offered. I don’t mind getting capped internet but there’s a limit on my tolerability. If it’s me I’m fine with $1 daily rate for capped broadband with features as follows:
- at least 700kbps++ average speed (may be higher or lower)
- 1GB daily limit (of which after exceeded this limit the speed may be reduced to 128kbps)
Of course I’d like it more if it has average speed of at least 1Mbps with no limit at all but maybe it’s too much or even impossible for a $1 per day charge.
I’m a mobile-type person so naturally I’d prefer wireless/mobile broadband (3G/HSPA/WiMax) over the traditional fixed-line broadband. However today my needs for speed and content delivery (upload/download) exceeds my needs from mobility. It’s not that I wanted to give up on mobile broadband but my preferred mobile plan is just not made available although it is technologically possible (I blame those corporate-greed ISPs for limiting the possibility).
I found that there are 3 “chargeable” aspects of mobile broadband to make it customizable. They are:
- Speed (may vary from 256kbps to 1Mbps)
- Bandwidth cap (daily/weekly/monthly)
- IP address (fixed/dynamic)
If I could I’d like to customize my own broadband package and willing to pay based on the rate I stated earlier with preconfigured monthly plans as shown below:
Plan A (Lite) – $10/mo
384kbps, 5GB/mo, shared/dynamic (NAT-ed) IP
Plan B (Intermediate) – $15/mo
512kbps, 10GB/mo, shared/dynamic (NAT-ed) IP
Plan C (Advanced) – $20/mo
700kbps, 15GB/mo, fixed IP
Plan D (Ultimate) – $25/mo
1Mbps, unlimited bandwidth, fixed IP
There are still many problems with the above plans. One of the most obvious problem is some important features such as unlimited bandwidth or fixed IP are only available in premium plans (Heavy, Extreme, whatever you might call it) although it is possible to make them available in any plan, as long as they have their own rates and can be charged differently. That said my ultimate custom and the most economical plan (with add-ons) would be like this:
$30/mo for 30GB monthly limit, 512kbps default speed (basic plan with additional bandwidth can be purchased separately at $1/GB, can’t be carried forward to the next day)
plus $10/mo addon for 1Mbps speed
plus $10/mo addon for fixed IP
Yes I still can’t completely give up on mobile internet. Actually it would not be a problem if most telco(s) didn’t charge GPRS rate if there was no active 3G plan. I wish there was one rate rates for all types of data networks and I do hope the above will be made possible in my lifetime.