Opportunities In the Race To Have Better Broadband Access

My comments on 'Better broadband access needed in M'sia'

There are two big issues which are inter-related:
  1. Money
  2. Content
Everything about Internet is started from TM, because it is Telekom Malaysia or Malaysia's Telecomm.. TM invested their money to setup the Internet in the first place.

Thus from the first dial-up version until now HSBB took about 16 years (I remember that Internet was first available to Malaysia around the year 1995).

I am not sure if paying RM 66 per month for 512 kb download (Streamyx) is expensive or not ? but I can afford it at home. That's my official personal Internet connection.

Apart from that, I have access to Starbucks' Internet connection by paying an average of RM 10 for a beverage and 'UniFi' access from office location.

Thus, on the average, I have only spent about RM 66 to RM 100 on Internet per month. Being a Malaysian, I like to go International when I am hooked up to the Internet. In fact, my browser history only contains a few entries.
  • www.theStar.com.my
  • www.yahoo.com (for emails mostly)
  • www.google.com / www.google.com.my
  • www.msn.com / malaysia.msn.com
  • www.youtube.com
  • www.facebook.com
  • www.apple.com/trailers
  • www.maybank2u.com.my
  • www.it-sideways.com
Thus, just like what TM has confessed, 90% of my traffic goes international.

My location is Petaling Jaya, Klang Valley and Selangor.

I am not sure if my mother needs to use the Internet ? But I do know that Internet for me is mostly meant for communication and entertainment. So, if someone do not need such things, there is no need to use the Internet which is quite affordable to me.

And talking affordability, service providers may not have enough subscribers (at least for now). The reason that I can think of is that first of all, the International bandwidth is pretty costly per se. Secondly, since Internet is meant for communication and entertainment, it should be targeted at people who needed them critically; the road transport traffic congestion in my location is pretty unbearable.

Then we have the issue with localized contents. 90% of the Internet traffic goes International, and mostly for communication and entertainment. The bottleneck is actually at the international gateway.

However, localized content must not only restricts itself to communication and entertainment, it can also cover other categories of activities especially for business.

In my opinion, we can spike up this category.

There isn't enough motivation and incentives to encourage localized business contents such as web based business application. The HSBB backbone has tremendous bandwidth which are sitting there waiting for international bandwidth to utilize it.

We need to have a John Doerr of Malaysia to champion such initiative. Provide local software developers with funding and incentives for hosting and utilization of cloud computing platform. This will also attract foreign investment because then some Mat Sallehs will come to Malaysia and form business entities with Malaysians to develop and host business application locally.

Secondly, we need to relax the regulation with content censorship which will scare content developers away.

Finally, the problem with low income needs to be addressed. Most of us are underpaid anyway, but we have great taste for International culture. We are underpaid, but we own all kind of brands, eat all kind of foods, watch all kind of movies and play all kind of games. In other words, unofficially, even though we earn smaller income, but we still can afford existing inflation.

Everything is inter-related, the reality we are having now is result of social-economical transformation and self balancing acts.

I don't anticipate much for a savior for this issue, but I do see some opportunities from here.

As long as we have a conservative culture, we will always like to go International, especially during web surfing.