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Malaysians Beat Back Internet Overcharging Scheme 24 Hours After Broadband Provider Announced It

Phillip Dampier May 13, 2010 Broadband Speed, Internet Overcharging, Telekom Malaysia, Video Comments Off on Malaysians Beat Back Internet Overcharging Scheme 24 Hours After Broadband Provider Announced It

Telekom Malaysia

A scheme to impose usage limits and speed throttles on Telekom Malaysia’s broadband customers was beaten back just a day after the plan was announced.

Malaysia’s largest telecommunications company announced the limitations at the same time in introduced new speed tiers and new pricing for them.

Customers were not pleased when they discovered TM’s UniFi broadband service came with high prices and usage caps:

TM UniFi Broadband Packages

  • 5/5Mbps Service RM149/$46.73 now capped at 60GB per month.
  • 10/10Mbps Service RM199/$62.41 now capped at 90GB per month.
  • 20/20Mbps Service RM249/$78.09 now capped at 120GB per month.

In comparison, residents in nearby Singapore can buy 100Mbps service, with no limit, for RM200/$62.73 per month.

Those who exceed the limits would find their speeds throttled to about 10 percent of the speed they purchased, for the rest of the month.

Telekom Malaysia CEO Datuk Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said the measures were part of its Fair Usage Policy.

Dato’ Zamzamzairani

“This policy is a standard industry practice to ensure that all subscribers get to enjoy the same web surfing quality,” he said.

Only it’s not standard industry practice, despite that often-heard excuse.  In countries where usage limits are common, those limits are being eased or discontinued as broadband expansion and competition drives the unpopular usage limits out of the market.

Malaysians weren’t willing to wait.

The social media firestorm of protest that followed the announcement forced the company to back down just one day after announcing the Internet Overcharging scheme.

An announcement on Twitter, noting customer feedback, stated “no volume cap 4 all #unifi packages 4 now.”  The company did say it would continue to “reserve the right to enforce a download limit to ensure all UniFi subscribers receive equal service quality,” but that type of language has been standard in service provider agreements for years.

Company officials told The Malaysian Insider customers “may abuse” the service, which is why they wanted the cap.

But customers feel they deserve value for money — the price being charged can be considered high for many countries in Asia even without the cap.

The Star newspaper notes:

With the latest announcement by Telekom Malaysia, many people are rejoicing. Among them is communications consultant Justin Then, who said he’s happy to note that Telekom Malaysia listens to consumers.

“Capping our high speed Internet access doesn’t make sense, if the Government wants Malaysians to seek out knowledge and be innovative,” he said.

A Twitter user, who asked to be identified only as Flo, said she’s glad Telekom Malaysia has decided not to employ the cap for now.

“We are paying a premium for technology that offers super high bandwidth, so a daily cap shouldn’t be applied. There’s no value in that; we would be better off with regular broadband,” she said.

One caveat.  As has been the case with a handful of U.S. providers seeking to monetize your broadband usage, rescinding usage caps today doesn’t guarantee they won’t be back tomorrow.  Indeed, TM has yet to remove them from their website, instead inserting in the fine print, “The monthly download volume policy will not be implemented until further notice.”

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/Malaysia Telekom UniFi Promotional Video.flv

TM’s slick promotional video unveiling the faster UniFi broadband packages asks y0u to “imagine.”  We did… imagining how in the world we can accomplish all of the things they show in the video with the company’s proposed arbitrary usage limits and speed throttles.  Imagine actually getting the service you paid to receive without a provider imagining how much use = “abuse.”  (6 minutes)

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  • bern jenkins: Good commentary . I loved the points - Does anyone know if I would be able to find a fillable a form form to fill in ?...
  • jennifer: Horrific customer service. But don't worry, I was assured I'd have a technician come fix my internet a week from today. :/...
  • Kyle: It has nothing to do with consumer choice on broadband. It has to do with unelected bureaucrats in the FCC, who are not accountable to congress (the p...
  • Bryan: I would never support anyone who directly or indirectly would want to limit consumer choices for internet. If a municipality can provide faster and c...
  • Kyle: The FCC is not a federal court. They should not be able to overturn state or local law. This has nothing to do with municipal broadband. It has to do ...
  • Johanna D.: Moved out of state for my job in March, was waiting for a final verizon bill, and received 3 bills from fronteir all dated the same day with different...
  • Clinton Kirk: It's not that Sen. Cruz is against the expansion of Broadband in growing communities. The issue is that it should be the States decision and not some...
  • Dahlia: If you do let me know, I will join. They try to say I used 865GB in one month and charged me an extra 20$ for overages. That is BS, there is no way in...
  • Sherice Cuadra: Timely article ! I learned a lot from the facts - Does anyone know if my business might be able to grab a blank a form copy to work with ?...
  • Ethan: A few months ago, TWC gave me a quote for $23,268 for 12 (!) pole permits and about 1600 feet of cable, even though there's a line only 5 poles and 80...
  • Mark: My ailing 85-yo mother, who lives in Yucaipa, CA, has been completely without phone service for almost A WHOLE MONTH now!!! She cannot call her doctor...
  • Raymundo: Us simple folk in FL can only dream of being as smart as you, Joe. Thank you for taking the time to explain things to us so we can understand them....

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