Bandwidth Caps Today vs Yesteryear

Here’s an interesting thought I had about bandwidth quotas recently…

Ever since the dawn of “broadband” (xDSL or its variants) way back in the mid 90s (approximately?) there have always been users who would attempt to maximize usage of their connection. Why is it that only recently quotas have conveniently popped up?

Early xDSL started at (from memory) about 256kbps but 512kbps was far more common during the early 2000s – let’s take 512kbps for our calculations. So, in this example, our random 512kbps connection would be able to download approximately 150GB per month way back in 2000.

Now, here we are in 2011… bandwidth prices wholesale or consumer have dropped considerably. How is it that companies like Telekom Malaysia are pushing out the “latest” in FTTH fiber optics at 5/10/20Mbps but with quotas of 60/90/120GB per month? Based on this logic, a POTS copper xDSL 512kbps connection from 10 years ago would theoretically be able to download more than a fiber optic 20Mbps connection today in 2011.

Have I missed something or is Telekom Malaysia trying to tell us that bandwidth costs are more expensive today than 10 years ago? Hmm…


2010 in Malaysia according to biatch0

So, yet another New Year is upon us… big whoopdedoo!!! Here’s a quick round up of what happened in 2010 according to the Gospel of biatch0.

Telekom Malaysia (TM) announces UniFi – The FIRST Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) solution in Malaysia. Obviously, it isn’t so cool when you take into consideration that no other ISP could possibly do this in Malaysia even if they wanted to; thanks Telekom Malaysia for having the monopoly to the Malaysian last-mile. Also announced at the same time, TM announces Fair Usage Policies and Quotas for UniFi that are more suited to wireless ISPs; 60GB, 90GB, 120GB for 5Mbps, 10Mbps, and 20Mbps respectively. Huge uproar in the general public ensues and they “temporarily” remove quotas saying that they were “listening” to their customers feedback thus generating “some” positive press for them. Well, guess what, the bloodsuckers at TM have obviously “listened” since the quota system is due to be implemented this year with no changes to the data caps.

Obviously, copper couldn’t provide these speeds which is why TM (and the Malaysian government who so graciously added RM2.4 billion give or take) had to invest in fibre. Oh wait, look at this interesting bit of information, ADSL2 which works over copper goes up to 24Mbps!!! Strange, now why would TM and the Malaysian government spend billions of taxpayer dollars to implement something that could be done over existing infrastructure? IT OBVIOUSLY COULD HAVE NO RELATION TO THE AWESOME BENTLEY AND MERCEDES BENZ THOSE TM AND GOVERNMENT GUYS ARE DRIVING AROUND.

Telekom Malaysia (TM) UniFi is rooted – Numerous security flaws in the wireless routers supplied by TM to consumers are found; interestingly, some are thanks to the awesome technical prowess of TM technicians. Team SexyKambingz shows proof of concept for various interesting things, and are called in to provide input on security. Now obviously since Team SexyKambingz are Malaysian, they should be so incredibly thankful to TM for providing them with INCREDIBLE Internet all these years at UNBELIEVABLE prices and as such should provide any and all information they have to TM gratis. Unfortunately for TM, Team SexyKambingz are a bunch of people who for some reason think TM are the bloodsucking offspring of Satan himself and REFUSED to provide free security services to TM. Pfft… the gall of these people!!! We should be so thankful to TM for providing us awesome Internet all these years that we are giving up our first and second born to them!!! (In case some packets are lost in transmission, insert the <sarcasm></sarcasm> tag liberally in this post)

Telekom Malaysia (TM) holds meeting with highly technical customers because they deeply value our feedback – Due to the previous issue of UniFi security in combination with the widespread growing hatred the Malaysian public harbor for TM (without basis might I add *COUGH*); TM chose to hold a meeting to see what the community had to say about various issues such as their Fair Usage Policy, Quotas, and security. TM essentially came up with a bunch of random numbers that defied the laws of physics as we know them and used those numbers as justification for incredibly fair quotas!!! I mean a 60GB cap for a 5Mbps connection is really fair when you take into consideration a 1.5Mbps connection could do about 500GB a month easily. Right? Right? Essentially, what TM was saying at this meeting was that they are unable to cope with the bandwidth demands of their customers. Surprisingly, this MAY occur when you have close to a 100 to 1 contention ratio (I’m pulling this number out of my ass but won’t be surprised if it’s actually close to what TM is really doing). TM also made it very clear that their earlier stunt of removing the quota was a publicity stunt to avoid their beautiful building being burned down by the Malaysian general public – because it’s pretty clear they STILL want to implement the exact same quotas they originally planned. Listening my ass… I mean my ass literally does as much listening as the guys at TM. Considering the number of years that TM has been sucking money out of every single Internet user in Malaysia (save a few fortunate souls who live in TIMEdotCom or other wired ISP coverage areas) they should very well be able to afford more bandwidth than Akamai and Google put together.

The Star reports that Telekom Malaysia DOES NOT have a monopoly on Malaysian Internet – Yes, this is true, also, I am next in line to be the Pope, I am actually the real person who founded Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo, and I am an immortal. Deputy Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum needs to start sharing whatever he’s been smoking because it sure seems like some good shit. TM are pretty much the sole reason the Internet in Malaysia is only comparable to places like Afghanistan or insert random war torn country here. Tell our well-informed Deputy Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum that when every ISP in Malaysia can provide service over public infrastructure that was conveniently “claimed” by TM 20 odd years ago, then I’ll believe that TM doesn’t have a monopoly. Until that day, TM and whoever thinks otherwise can shove whatever they think right up their No Entry exit.

YTL finally launches Yes 4G – These guys almost stole the limelight from TM with the awesome blossom that was their “launch”. They used the term 4G at their launch a week after the ITU announced the 4G standards (which Yes 4G did not meet) but fortunately caught a lucky break later when the ITU lowered the standards to cover the technology used by YTL. Free Internet was found by some people much to their glee, before the YTL website buckled under the load of a (reportedly) 300,000 hits per second DDoS, and team HITB foolishly (I say this in retrospect) provided YTL with consultation gratis to fix certain “issues”. Limited disclosure here for reasons which will remain withheld.

TIMEdotCom rebrands and releases their own fibre connection – TIMEdotCom is as far as I’m concerned the only REAL ISP in Malaysia. Buy a 2Mbps connection from them, and guess what, you get 2Mbps. An amazing concept I know!!! So anyway, these guys are unfortunately stuck with providing proper Internet to people in condominiums where TIME has an agreement with the building management or property developer. You will most likely never hear any complaints from their users about them – except possibly that they roll out new technologies fairly slowly. Well, that’s the price they have to pay for not sucking the blood of the Malaysian public for the past 20 years.


the adventures of biatch0 in modem/router/wifi-land

D-Link 2542B – Modem, 4-port router. Crashed on first night of download tests… 20% into the first file in queue. Punched random babies in face. Possibly the most messy UI and configuration interface I’ve ever seen (this includes the shit UIs that I code sometimes). On the bright side I saved 1 plug point vs my old setup of SDSL modem + 3Com router. EDIT: Forgot to mention that accessing the router web UI felt similar to accessing a poorly coded and very resource intensive website… running on a 386 SX 16MHz. Everything just felt like it was running on something with 30+ load averages.

Linksys AM300 – Modem. Nothing horrible… just impossible to configure. Nothing to do with Linksys though… apparently TIME engineers thought it would be funny to plug in an Aztech DSL605E somewhere on their switch configured to Modem also refuses to allow configuration without DSL link plugged in (which leads to above problem). Stabbed random babies.

SMC Barricade (long model number that nobody bothers to remember) – Modem, 4-port router. A possible challenger to most horrible to configure UI… right after the previously mentioned D-Link. Couldn’t even get this bugger to activate the DSL connection. Dropped random babies from 16th floor lift shaft.

Aztech DSL605E+Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 (DD-WRT) – Standalone Modem, WiFi+4-port router. Most recent setup… and appears to be going to stay. Seems stable after about 12 hours of testing, DD-WRT only gave me problems initially with DHCP (apparently someone else used the router before and decided my box quadbiatch0 would be called subashini-PC). Buffalo AP/router refuses to clock at 250MHz, not an issue though, at least it didn’t hit 10.0 load and cause latency to to reach almost 100ms when I was loading up the router admin page like the D-Link. Obviously stuff like that pisses me off because I hate having high WoW ping.

Moral of the story: Cheap thing no good, good thing no cheap.

Side note: Average of 260ms to WoW server. Average of 43ms latency to the TIME gateway. Anything above 10ms to the first hop outside the internal network is not acceptable IMHO… it’s plain ridiculous. On my pre-NetLynx connection, 43ms would have gotten me half-way to fucking Hong Kong. Verbal Molotov cocktails are incoming to a TIME engineer near you within the next few days if something doesn’t go right.