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P1 going to Singapore

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I just read this article (P1 article) on Green Packet, the company that provides the P1 WiMax broadband services in Malaysia. They have entered into a deal to purchase from Pacnet its facilities-based operator license and corresponding wireless broadband access spectrum rights. Pacnet is one of 6 companies in Singapore with a license and spectrum rights to provide wireless broadband services.

Apparently, one of the selling points for future customers of P1 in Singapore is the additional perk of Internet roaming, given Green Packet’s existing P1 WiMax services in Malaysia. As an existing disgruntled P1 customer in Malaysia, my first thought of their plan is that my service is going to get worse – if that’s even possible seeing as my network connection to P1 these days ranges from very slow to non-existent.

Since I signed up 6 months ago, the service has essentially deteriorated after each month to its current sorry state. Calls to their customer service has been met with promises of upgrading work in progress and partial fee waivers – a small consolation but pointless for people who depend on the Internet to earn a living.

A word of advise to my Singaporean cousins – make sure you know what you’re getting into before you sign up!

Broadband Services Revisited

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Finally, there’s some decent news for Malaysian broadband users. In the Budget 2010 speech given by the Minister of Finance / Prime Minister yesterday, not only will the implementation of high-speed broadband (HSBB) be expedited, consumers will be allowed to claim tax relief on any subscription paid for broadband services. A tax relief of up to RM500 per year can be claimed from 2010 onwards and will continue until 2012.

Most people subscribed to a broadband service should be able to enjoy the full RM500 tax relief – although some subscribed to limited usage packages (e.g. those on the Streamyx 384 kbps package) may enjoy a lower amount. This means a maximum total tax relief of RM1,500 over the next 3 years – it may not be a substantial sum for most but it is still some consolation for us long suffering Malaysian broadband consumers :D .

Broadband Service (or lack thereof?)

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Two articles on the development of the Malaysian broadband services caught my interest this week. One came in the form of a full page ad in a local daily taken out by DiGi, Malaysia’s third largest telco. They were (finally) launching their mobile broadband service called DiGi Turbo 3G. Now those of you who know me will know that I have for the longest time been intending to switch my telco provider to Digi but have been put off by its lack of 3G connection. So just imagine my disappointment when I read that it would only be launched in Penang and Sabah!! Looks like my wait will (sadly) have to continue until DiGi extends their service to the Klang Valley – Digi customer service people, are you listening?

The other article was a press release by Telekom Malaysia on their progress of developing the country’s high-speed broadband network – it is on target to commercially launch its High Speed Broadband (HSBB) retail service in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bangsar, Subang Jaya and Shah Alam by the end of the first quarter next year. This meant further disappointment for me, yet again – the second time this week.

Nonetheless, these two developments are encouraging signs that broadband services in Malaysia should eventually improve. My only question is – how much longer do we long suffering Malaysians have to wait?? Also, I have just one request to all the broadband service providers in Malaysia – you know who you are. Its not just about the SPEED of the connection, RELIABILITY is just as important! This means fast, reliable connections ALL (or most of) the time – and not just in the initial stages when you have minimal subscribers!


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