Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Who's The Expert Here?

It was sheer chutzpah for the M1 spokesperson to strongly object to the Government proposal for ISPs to state average internet access speeds clearly by saying "there is no basically no sound, objective and equitable basis to do so considering the many variables involved." That's like saying a car will never achieve the advertised x kilometers per liter because of road surface, tyre condition, driving skill and the odd freak flood theory offered by Environment Minister Yaacob Ibrahim.

When Starhub, Singtel or M1 signs up a customer for one of it's high speed 10Mbps broadband plans (or  vaunted 100Mbps fibre link), it makes you wonder if they bother to check if the customer is using a relic 800 MHz IBM Thinkpad running Win98. As for verifying connectivity, real engineers carry professional toolkits to check line quality at the wall-end cable point, independent of the PC equipment hooked up. In November this year, the Sydney-based Australian Federation Court found Singtel-Optus guilty of "deceptive conduct" for throttling back a consumer who had exceeded his quota of peak hour usage down to the sub-broadband level of 64 Kbps, and there was no challenge to Justice Nye Perram's technical determination of access speed.

For the gang of three ISPs to dare to cock a snook at the Government's proposal to get them to disclose the average surfing speed for marketing their broadband services, they must be really disdainful of the level of competence of the IDA or technically challenged minister in charge, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Lui Tuck Yew. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore had a bad start when their first CEO daughter of ex-Chief Justice Yong Pung How defended her dubious appointment with words to the effect, "I may not know what CDMA is, but I can always hire someone who does". If the people put in charge by the Government are lacking in expertise, the supervised private sector can only run amok. The IDA should bring in the expert from the Australian court.


  1. M1's chutzpah is a PR move to save its wallet: none of the local Telcos wants the real numbers to be published: buying international bandwidth is expensive, they would not be able to sell "premium" 100Mbps anymore (and do note that's IDA's opennent pet project would be bitten as well)

    Once the public realises that "real speed" is not due to external factors, like M1 says, but, to keep the car analogy, due to the fact that the Telcos are selling you expensive cars with no engine inside, they will have to lower their prices (or reduce their margins and buy international cable capacity)

  2. What a good piece !
    Sure hope the Bosses in the 3 Telco as well as the Minister-in-charge and IDA's Top Dog read this. Then again, so what if they all did ?
    Have to ask then, whether their Big Boss read this piece or not. Then again, so what ?
    Well, if enough of us do, and really excerise our votes at the next GE, maybe, somebody will sit up.

  3. IDA's current top dog is Ronnie Tay, who was formerly Chief of Navy. According to the civil servants, this guy, who knows nuts about infocomm technology, has messed up quite a few civil service projects. Then again, you won't read these in our local media.

    Would be good if our local papers can investigate how IDA has gone down the drains since his joker took over.

  4. IDA should learn from the European Commission and give the telcos a BIG fine.

  5. The expert will be the one that gives or provides the answer BUT does not have to be responsible for it(the Answer).

  6. Ronnie Tay of IDA is ex-Chief of Navy? Like Goh Yong Siang of Temasek is ex-Chief of Air Force? And we thought only Myanmar was run by generals!!!