To Limit or Not To Limit Internet Download Capacity

Honestly speaking, this sounds like a chicken and egg story. The one posing the question and the one answering the question wants their answers or renditions to be correct. Hence, it’s the same when someone asks; should Internet Service Providers (ISP) limit download capacity? The guy who downloads a lot would obviously feud while the lady who wants the Internet connection to be fast screams “booyah!”.

I recently found out after the whole Malaysia Wimax launch, selected ISPs implement what they term as a fair usage policy – even in Wimax. When the ISP applies this policy, it means its customers will use their provided Internet connection at a controlled rate. You might have heard the words; throttled, from your average Malaysian complaining about our Internet connection before. Think of it as not being able to fully utilize the promised speeds you were sold on. It sure pisses me off.

Then again, I remember when I shopped for an ISP while being in Melbourne they too had some plans where you had a limited download capacity for much faster speed packages. Some of my friends shared subscription of these faster packages but while they had super speeds, they had to monitor their download capacity. LOL!

Luckily for me, I was on a plan where they limited the Internet speed during selected hours. For example; Off Peak is from Midnight to 7am while Peak is the remaining time. Ever since I’ve used this back in Australia, I’ve always thought of it as a fair trade. plus, it’s not entirely unaccessible. You still get average speeds which are enough for your general Internet usage if you’re a common user. For the hardcore users, I’ve known most of them to use the Internet until wee hours of the morning like 2-3AM.

Which is why I’ve always wondered why none of our ISPs here have thought of introducing such a subscription? But of course, like any other Internet user who’s angry with the current state of our Internet stability even I’d not find it worth paying the ISP for crap services. And this is often the case right now.

However, I’d like to ask you if you think limiting the download capacity or introducing off-peak and peak packages could work in Malaysia – given we finally have a stable ISP service?

12 thoughts on “To Limit or Not To Limit Internet Download Capacity”

  1. TMnet is really problematics since its operating began and never improve over the year. great to have some competition now and hopefully the cap is just at the moment and competition will force them to lift it later

  2. hey danny 🙂 fair or “best effort” is the term used to describe broadband speed averaged over a month’s usage (24 hours) that is comparable to the rate you are subscribed to. it doesnt mean you necessarily get lower speed all the time. What i totally agree with is your accessment of downtime. ISPs do not take into account downtime when calculating best effort. MCMC implemented laws just recently to curb overzealous implementations of “best effort” specfically to address this downtime issue which u can find in mcmc.gov.my.

  3. kchan:
    I’m still in doubt of them raising their level of performance. Even the recent statement made in the papers questioning if they feel threated by Wimax was:

    “iCapital does not see WiMAX as a threat to Streamyx, as both technologies have different target segments.”

    So, you we have our answer for now.

    tham keng yew:
    Well, to be honest, with the amount made by Screamyx as it is I feel they can be fined 2-3 times and they’ll still not improve their infrastructure. I also won’t be surprised they’ll promote FTTH so much later and forget about Streamyx users. Just toss it as old technology.

  4. I’d rather ISP offer different plans for different people,

    basic plan with bursts of speed, but a download cap or throttle
    advance plan with throttling during specific hours
    premium plan (more expensive) without throttling and always working at full speed at all times.

    I’m ok with the concept that I’d have to pay more if I want better service. and with this it can probably satisfy majority of their subscribers.

    Technical implementation wise on the ISP side I’m clueless though.

  5. I don’t really care because I don’t download a lot of stuff from the Internet. But then I think should not cap lar… instead they should provide more bandwidth to cater the user’s need.

  6. rocsta:
    I’ve heard of the solutions but why Malaysia ISPs never began to implement it or at least mention it.

    wilfred:
    I don’t mind paying more either. However, I’d want my line to not only be fast but reliable through and through. Otherwise, we end up paying mindlessly and forefully – again. 😛

    neo:
    The gist of the problem is it’s reliability and stability. You pay for 2Mbps but you only get 1.5Mbps and that too isn’t guaranteed. Hence, play of ‘best effort’.

    Well, I’m all ready to hop off Screamyx. All I need is an ISP who can give me the reliability and stability to what I’m paying for.

  7. I think peak and off-peak package would be good. At least still get to download, but all in all, I still want a very stable connectivity, not the one keep time out one 😛

  8. Mr Lim keng yaik prophecy did not came true, no <RM40 broadband, booo….. screamyx still sucking our hard earn cash and throttling our download speed. recently it got from bad to worse, torrent speed went from 160 to < 20. i plan to unsubscribe the old line and try combo line. thats why i’m surfing the net for some information on combo feedback. i also plan to do a research (which might take months) in comparing local with overseas ISPs. not sure what are the processes to convert from normal to combo though.
    what really irks me is, while we’re paying so much, we only get an average of 10-11% of the speed we are paying for. since my pc is dead and i will not be buying a new 1 soon, i think i will cut of my line since i’m cant use it heavily on a laptop. if i wan to surf the net, i can do it in the office only without facebook / friendster access and restriction to some sites, other than that i think its a total waste of precious money to wait for them to improve their performance. unless u need to work at home, its better not to have screamyx than to pay for some shitty services.

  9. wong:
    Very true and I agree whole-heartedly.

    calvin:
    Problem is we’re being monopolized. And, the guys who tried to go against this couldn’t topple the tower. Therefore, in order for the Malaysia consumers to also enjoy better connections and promises we’ve to stop thinking on what’s the cheapest deal around now.

    As far as I’ve known, the cheapest isn’t necessarily the better one. 🙂

  10. true.

    i don’t believe in cheapest package right now (like below <rm90 ) offered by any major telco companies during the early baby boom of sCreamyx.

    i am currently outside Malaysia and enjoying T1 speed in campus since 2 years ago, i wonder if there any other competitors other than TMnet, Maxis, Digi and Celcom?.

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