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International Cap was likely a Bug: Room for Improvement

TM has finally come clean and admitted that a new bandwidth management system was deployed some 3 weeks ago to regulate traffic during peak hours (3pm-1am). This is mostly in line with our findings with my post and it’s definitely a welcome change to hear a direct response to customer problems.

TM now tells you to send your speedtest results to [email protected] (effective 1 December 2010).

Best way is to enclose speedtest.net reports from SG and Cyberjaya and compare them with the other MY servers and TM’s own speedometer.

Here’s the official response from TM’s VP of Corporate Comms Izlyn Ramly:

Telekom Malaysia Bhd ™ wishes to clarify on our Fair Usage Policy (FUP) and address several comments in the blogosphere on allegations of a  ‘hard cap’ for international bandwidth being enforced by TM.

Firstly, we apologise for the inconvenience that our customers are currently facing on our internet services.

We would like to assure all our customers that it is not, in any way TM’s intention to enforce any ‘hard caps’ on our customers.

As a matter of principle, however, TM needs to abide by a FUP to ensure that the network caters to all customers in a fair manner, and this has been in place for a few years for Streamyx which is a contended, best effort service. This means the Streamyx network is catered to be shared by everybody at any point in time to ensure everybody gets a “fair share” of the bandwidth. Currently UniFi is not affected, as it is a new premium service.

The Streamyx “Fair Usage Policy” is available on our website (http://www.streamyx.com/customer_care/customer_care.php?id=customer_care_fair_usage_policy) and it basically describes the list of specific heavy usage activities (like P2P and gaming) that will be managed during peak periods.

As you all know, this kind of bandwidth management or FUP is a global and common telco and celco industry practice. It is already in place in Malaysia amongst the mobile broadband players and aimed at making sure our broadband service is fast and reliable whenever in use.  It is designed to benefit all users, especially normal or non-heavy users during peak periods, so that all can enjoy higher and fair browsing and surfing speed.

In general, TM’s FUP and implementation is aimed at providing an optimum internet experience to all Streamyx customers by rationalising the internet speed during peak periods (3pm – 1am).

Of late, our traffic profiles are changing quite rapidly, and we are noticing that network congestion can hit different parts of the country at different times of the day or week. When congestion hits, depending on the usage patterns, customers subscribing to the same package but generating different traffic patterns may experience different levels of service performance.

In an effort to ensure a fair distribution of resources amongst all customers at all times, whenever congestion occurs, TM’s network is able to calculate how many users are active at any given time and allocate dynamically the resources across all customers with active sessions.

In rare cases of heavy congestion, we ensure that no customers may get below a minimum threshold of international bandwidth, but there is no ‘ceiling’ to the bandwidth each customer can get.

The problems some customer are experiencing now may have stemmed post a successful pilot of a new traffic management model we ran a few months before, following which we went nationwide about 3 weeks ago. Clearly there is room for improvement and we are working hard to resolve this.

As dynamic allocation of bandwidth requires some specific settings that need to be fine tuned area by area, we elicit and welcome feedback on the experience in different parts of the country at different times of the day. We have set up a special email account where you can send your readings for our review: [email protected] effective 1 December 2010.

From our analysis, the current traffic patterns are, for most part, in line with our expectations on traffic management, and the speeds being delivered should suffice for a smooth internet experience.

Where the internet experience falls short, we will further investigate both individual cases and the service in its entirety to address specific concerns that they may be facing, and will respond to these customers directly.

Rest assured, TM takes note of all customer feedback to continuously ensure improved customer experience end-to-end.

From a market communications perspective, the FUP awareness campaign is already ongoing and we will further clarify as to the rules we are implementing – and why.

In fact, a bloggers briefing has already been scheduled for 17 December post our engagement with LYN and Kambingz earlier. About 40-50 selected bloggers will be invited to represent the wider blogger community to keep them abreast with our efforts to improve service delivery and customer experience overall, and to seek constructive feedback on these efforts. We hope to address, or at least start to address many concerns at this forum.

We thank you for your continuous feedback and ask for your kind understanding and patience as we work to deliver on our commitment to service quality and overall customer experience.

TELEKOM MALAYSIA BHD

What this probably means when you take out the corp communications code out is:

Taken verbatim from Tentris’ post

they deployed a traffic management program in the last couple of weeks.

the program basically failed and instead of helping distribute the available bandwidth equally across all users, especially during peak hours, it is throttling everyone on a consistent and widespread basis which is exactly not what was intended.

As such, fret not, most likely, speeds should return to normal as they fine-tune their bandwidth management system.

10 Responses to “International Cap was likely a Bug: Room for Improvement”

  1. Loki Says:

    “As such, fret not, most likely, speeds should return to normal as they fine-tune their bandwidth management system.”

    I applaud your optimism, but I expect things to not only stay crappy, but actually worsen in the coming months. I sincerely hope you’re right and I’ll be the first to rejoice if I’m wrong. We shall see.

  2. RAN Says:

    I don’t trust anything tmbutt says or does. Period.

  3. Exarkun Says:

    I doubt they will return to normal.

  4. Q-chan Says:

    Doubt it will fix anytime soon. They are saving maximum money with this, so most probably they will drag as long as possible

  5. clieman Says:

    “Currently UniFi is not affected, as it is a new premium service.”

    Anyone on Unifi care to verify this?

  6. J Says:

    Query:

    If 100 people signed up for the Streamyx 1Mbps and each supposedly get the theoretical download speed of 122 KB/s, why can’t TM just give everyone 122 KB/s? I mean if they can’t support it why offer it?

    I don’t understand capping at all. It’s as if a 1Mbps customer can reach > 1 MB/s download (like we get in, say, the varsity)… Comments anyone? Reuben?

  7. RAN Says:

    In answer to clieman:
    I am not a Unifi user, but an older friend of mine is. 5mb package, and she could not load a page in Germany all day yesterday. I tried on her behalf on capped 1mb scremyx. Had to change ip numerous times, with and without vpn, and finally made it, and did what she asked help for.
    Fibre optic cable. bleh!

  8. Telekom Malaysia (TM) suffers backlash from Streamyx subscribers over Fair Usage Policy Says:

    […] of these complaints and its Vice President of Corporate Communications, Izlyn Ramli, released an official response: Telekom Malaysia Bhd ™ wishes to clarify on our Fair Usage Policy (FUP) and address several […]

  9. keith Says:

    At least they’re responding properly and not keeping things to themselves.

  10. universe Says:

    It’s ridiculous to say that Unifi will not be affected,as it is a new premium service.WTH,TM charge some customer with 4MB package with RM160(more expensive than Unifi 5MB Home),then give those unlucky guy to use 512K package speed.Ridiculous though.

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