The Week That Was: Better broadband for Malaysians

Penang State Housing, Local Government, Town and Rural Development Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo (left) and YTL Communications CEO Wing K. Lee announcing the completion of the Terragraph trial. — MUSTAFA AHMAD/The Star

Internet access continues to be a big focus with YTL Communications announcing that it has completed its Terragraph Market trial in George Town, Penang.

The service, offered in 50 locations, experienced the highest consumption at Love Lane, Chulia Street, Kapitan Keling Mosque, Campbell Street, Goddess of Mercy Temple Penang, Chulia Street Night Market and Armenian Street.

It claims the gigabit wireless network offers fibre-like broadband speeds, delivering a peak speed of 170Mbps (megabits per second) for downloads and 160Mbps for uploads.

Over 19,000 unique users have enjoyed the service so far, it claims.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has acknowledged the government’s regulatory efforts, in particular the Mandatory Standard Access Pricing (MSAP), which made service providers offer faster yet cheaper broadband plans.

In its post, “Malaysia’s Need For Speed: How Regulatory Action Is Unleashing Ultrafast Internet” it said that Malaysia’s average fixed broadband speed increased from 22.5Mbps in January 2018 to 68.5Mbps in May this year, rocketing us above the global average of 59.6Mbps.

The reduction in prices also increased the number of subscriptions with download speeds of more than 100Mbps from 150,000 in 2017 to 1.2 million in 2018.

If you are looking for an affordable device to take advantage of your faster connection, check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab A which costs just RM599.

It has an 8in display, stereo speakers and a large 5,100mAh battery that’ll let you enjoy more videos and music on the go.

The Tab A has 32GB storage and a microSD card slot that allows you to add up to 512GB more memory, so you don’t run out of room for your favourite content like videos, e-books and music.

Speaking of music, streaming platform Spotify announced that a simplified version of its app, Spotify Lite, is now available in more countries including Malaysia.

The company says it uses less data, takes up less storage and minimises impact on battery life which makes it ideal for users with older devices.

Spotify Lite is available on Google Play while Apple users will have to wait a little longer.

It was also a strange week as ice cream made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Earlier this month a food truck in Los Angeles announced a new policy – “Influencers Pay Double” – as a way to retaliate against social media influencers asking for free ice cream.

CVT soft-serve co-founder Joe Nicchi said he has had enough of influencers offering him free exposure on their social media platforms in exchange for free ice cream.

“We truly don’t care if you’re an influencer, or how many followers you have. We will never give you a free ice cream in exchange for a post on your social media page. It’s literally a US$4 (RM16.50) item ...well now it’s US$8 (RM33) for you. #InfluencersAreGross,” CVT said in a statement on Instagram.

Well, speaking of gross, a video of a teenage girl in the United States licking ice cream in a tub and then putting it back in the freezer went viral.

As a precaution, the supermarket – Walmart – had to remove all the ice cream of the same brand from its store.

The girl was arrested but was later handed to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for further investigation as she was underage.

The video “inspired” others to perform what is now known as the “ice cream challenge”.

A 36-year-old man, Lenise Martin III, also filmed himself in the act, and although he claimed that he actually bought the ice cream, he was still arrested.

“We discourage anyone from copying this atrocious act. It is illegal. It’s a health risk to others. We will pursue anyone we see do this. You will be charged,” a police spokesperson said to US news website WAFB.

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