Penang still leads in Internet Speed!

A not-yet-city of Penang leads in so many ways, despite heavy competitions from other cities and federal territories all these years.

With so much money poured by the federal government on Cyberjaya, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, the local industries and residents of Penang continue to push Penang to leap ahead, to be among others, as the only place in Malaysia that made it to New York Times44 Places to Go in 2009, and as a Top-10 place for expatriates in Asia (just behind Kuala Lumpur at #9, joining Singapore, Kobe, Yokohama, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Macau, Seoul and Taipei)

For many years too, by having among the highest number of industrial entities in Malaysia, Penang gets to be also a leader in terms of average internet broadband speed, at 2.6-Mbps, far ahead of the second ‘fastest’ state, Melaka at slightly under 2-Mbps, followed by Selangor, Perlis and Wilayah Persekutuan (including Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan) with speeds of 1.8-Mbps, 1.7-Mbps and 1.5-Mbps respectively.

The gaps have however closing in compared to observation made in 2007 at when Penang was more than twice as fast compared to the closest competitors, Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan and Negeri Sembilan – Clearly there have major upgrades in the smaller states of Melaka and Perlis since then.

For the cities rank, Penang-based ‘cities’ maintains three of the top-10 fastest cities, led by George Town at 13-Mbps. This was a clear slagging for Penang, considering that it has six cities in the the top-10 list back in 2007, specifically being Ayer Itam, Tanjung Tokong and Kepala Batas. Today, Selangor leads with six ‘cities’ including Bangi, Bedong, Semenyih, Seri Kembangan, Kajang and the rest of Selangor towns. Penang-based towns of Bayan Lepas and Prai however made it to the top-10 for upload speed.

This significant leads by Penang is remarkable considering that Penang is normally just number 2, compared to Klang Valley cities of Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya for various internet access service roll-out, including for high-speed DSL, mobile GPRS/EDGE & 3G, and most recently WiMaX.

PenangFon and MetroFon are no longer in the top-10 fastest ISP list, which has since been overtaken largely by Telekom Malaysia (TM) Berhad’s subsidiary, TM Net Sdn Bhd, followed by UTM, Setia Haruman Technology, NTT MSC Arcnet, TIME Telecommunications, Piradius Net and JARI Communications.

At just 22-Mbps average speed however, Malaysia’s TM is lagging behind companies in Korea, Japan, and other Central and Western Europe countries, with the average fastest speed offered by TOV Sun-like at over 65-Mbps.

At just about 1.5-Mbps average for Malaysia, we’re still far behind other Asian countries including the closest neighbor Singapore with average internet speed of nearly 7-Mbps, about twice the average speed in Asia (boosted by Japan & Korea) of 3.6-Mbps.

Still, various services offered in Penang by 3G mobile providers of Maxis and TM Celcom is subpar and require significant improvements before average home and non-business users can really enjoy the high-speed internet experience. And other broadband players (all 16 or more of them) should continue to boost service reliability and customer service quality in order to help Malaysia become a developed nation and a knowledge-driven society by the year 2020, as visioned by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohammad.

BTW, can’t wait for DiGi’s 3G to arrive in Penang! Because….

This is how a broadband ‘fair usage quota’ should be: 50 GB!

Unlike the two greedy, incompetence Maxis & Celcom which only offers a ‘ciput’ 3-GB and 5-GB per month broadband experience respectively, after which they will blast you to dinasour’s age at well below 100-Kbps — after some extensive ‘congak’ a heavy internet user can easily exhaust 5GB of transfer limitation in just ONE DAY, or about 7 days of normal web-surfing (at just eight hours per day).

And perhaps, if DiGi’s lucky, and can really be good at what it does (innovate and lead, unlike other Malaysian telcos), it can even perhaps trounce the big brother government-linked TM’s offering of Streamyx DSL – notice the turtle?

BTW, it’s also worth to note that P1’s WiMaX offerings will also bring fresh air (and hope) for average broadband users offering speed of up to 2.4Mbps downlink and 500Kbps uplink, with varied ‘fair’ usage threshold between 5GB, 20GB or 40GB for Home packages (RM49-199/month) and unlimited usage for Office packages (RM159-339/month).