Ever since I succumbed myself to the beauty and addiction of the World Wide Web, I've seen how the internet service in Malaysia has 'evolved'. My first experience was the dial-up service that offered a mere speed of 56kbps, which was a theoretical value by the way, if you know what I mean. Loading videos off sites like YouTube was unthinkable. Even opening a hotmail email page (there's no gmail then) was a great test to one's patience. And most of all, it's charged by blocks in minutes. So the longer you use, the more that you have to pay. And judging by the speed at that time, it took bout 3-5 minutes just to open the said hotmail page. Well you can somehow picture in your head that the internet bill at that time was synonymous to those taxi meters. It really could give you a heart attack anytime :p
Then moving on, came Screamyx. Ooopsss.... I mean Streamyx :) Honestly speaking, the service was great at the beginning. YouTube videos loaded in a jiffy and the download speed was adequate too, seeing that I've subscribed to the 384kbps package, which happened to be the cheapest. Somewhere down the road, the market got a little saturated as more people subscribed to the service. Things got slow, and I mean reeeaaalllll slowwww. What took minutes now take hours load. The ironic thing is, I got a complementary upgrade to the 512kbps package at no extra charge and guess what??!! No change in speed!! Yahoo!!!
Lately, the speed can be unbearable at times, especially at night where I guess that most people come back home from work and more users are sharing the thread-sized bandwidth. Even more so now that they are busy promoting their new service, the ultimate broadband (so to speak) in the name of Unifi, where they integrate the TV service, phone and internet all into one line. The speed?? Awesome I would say. No, I am not a subscriber but I have experienced it before. The cheapest Unifi package provides a maximum speed of 5Mbps and that's a theoretical value. Moving up the price ladder well, you get faster network.
So there's this story. My sister was at home the other day trying to allocate herself to the new timetable for the next semester on our Streamyx network. And it's based on a first come first serve principle. Ergo, the earlier that you select your preferred allocations, the higher chance that you're gonna get it. But the funny thing is this, her friend in his own home on a Unifi network, appeared to have experienced a slower speed than my ancient dinosaur Streamyx and needless to say, he didn't get his preference. I know that things might have bottlenecked at the campus server side, but isn't it the fact that if one has a higher speed internet access, one should be able to 'park' his/her data at the server much faster? It's just like the comparison between A who travels via the expressway to work while B uses the toll-less, smaller and more busy road. Theoretically speaking, A should reach the workplace first, unless of course he is driving like a tortoise, which further strengthen my hypothesis that although a high bandwidth was provided (width of the expressway), but if the data speed isn't fast enough (tortoise driving on a highway), it's still no good. And coming from an engineering background, I know that most theoretical stuff that we study actually don't get to see the light of day.
In the next segment of my "The Ne(t)ed For Speed" series, I shall be sharing with you my latest internet speed experience. The 3 nice screenshots below shall serve as a nice teaser for all before the post :)