Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Day (almost) without Internet in Malaysia


For those who have an affected Internet connection, if you are eager to connect to US sites with a higher speed, please refer to this thread in Lowyat forum. There are a few proxies which you can utilize for the time being, restoring your connection speed to a reasonable level. But please, don't abuse it as the resource is scarce now. If you overuse it, the proxy will be slowed as well and in the end everyone loses. So be considerate towards others, use it sparingly. (Image credit:

Update 2: For those who have difficulty setting up proxies, myAsylum compiled a step-by-step instruction for Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer.


It's been a weird day.

APNC_faultFor those not in the know, there had been a massive earthquake in the ocean off south Taiwan, and it has affected some submarine Internet cables, causing a major disruption to the Internet connections to many Asian countries, including Malaysia. You can read more on major news sources, but this article in Lowyat has a good writeup and an excellent diagram about the nature of the problem. And best of all, the website is in Malaysia so you can still view it at a blazing speed.

For the whole day, millions of people must have tried to reconnect to the Internet, trying to fix their slow internet connection. Millions of people are also trying to restart their computer, flip the modems on and off, hoping that the connection would be fine again. For once, Malaysians are so united in one thing: cursing Streamyx for its crappy service. But they soon found out that streamyx was not to be blamed this time.

I woke up to find that the Internet connection was slowed to a crawl. It felt quite similar to surfing on the good ol' dial-up connection - only slower. I thought it's a problem in the modem so I restarted it. It was still the same. Then I restarted my computer. Not cured. I even ventured to run a full scan of my computer for viruses and spywares. Nope, some small viruses were found, but they were not a big problem, and the Internet was still the same.

Then I did the same thing as everyone else - blame Streamyx. I gave up on the Internet, hoping for the Internet to recover a while later while doing some gardening in order to prepare for my upcoming birthday. A moment later, I came home only to find that the Internet was still the same. Later on, I found out in Jeffooi's blog that the problem was due to the abovementioned earthquake.

It came to my realisation how important the Internet is to the modern society and how vulnerable it is to damage. Airplanes are delayed, financial transactions can't be done, and people panic while they find their connections malfunction. I for one felt so restless throughout the day, only to seek some refuge in some e-books to spend my time. Websites in Malaysia can be accessed, but there aren't really a lot of interesting websites ending with .my. What a sad state of Malaysian dot com industry. People paid more attention to the affected Internet connection than the people who died in the earthquake. Perhaps all that illustrates how dependent we are towards this massive network of virtual environment.

From the news source, it seems that it will take at least weeks to repair the submarine cables. Besides making do with the proxies mentioned above, I think I will have to think of ways to spend my coming few weeks. I am back to the real life, I guess.


Winson Kang said...

Errm, food for thought: Is broadband ALWAYS better than dial up? Heheh..

Well, i hope everything's fine today with the connection, cause i know you can't live without it. Oh yeah, a nicely written piece.

sophisticatedsoul said...

This is not only a nicely written piece, but also greatly helpful. Hah, thanks for the info on proxy. It helps. Don't worry. I'm not abusing it. :p

4seasonspring said...

hey, senior....thx for the explaining....^^

The situation in Taiwan is kinda disastrous now.....ah Bian and his mai earthquake pulak....

crushedguava said...

why is it then when everyone comes back from overseas, they complain that Streamyx is slow? granted, its not as fast as what you get overseas, but its actually not that bad. unless you're living in the area that has a lousy connection, but a fine streamyx connection is not-that-bad.

is it because people are expecting too much?

crushedguava said...

you see..right now engkiat's nickname on msn is "Streamyx - the suckiest broadband service ever"


kyh said...

U're a lowyat forummer too? wat's ur nick? I'm one too... :)

day-dreamer said...

Thank God it is getting better and better!

Happy New Year to you and your family!

youngyew said...

Winson: Haha, I think the fact that you don't feel much different before and after earthquake, shows that how slow dial-up originally is... :P Just kidding... :D

Sophisticatedsoul: You're welcome.

4seasonspring: Haha why you still insist on calling me senior? :D

crushedguava: Granted, this earthquake scenario is not streamyx's fault. However, Malaysians do have quite a lot of valid gripes with Streamyx... Their services are like so run-down even in KL, and when I was in my brother's house I couldn't go online for many days because streamyx had been down for 5 days in that area... You just can't help complaining in this kind of scenario marr...

kyh: I only went to lowyat to look for info about the earthquake and the internet connection, I am not a forummer there.

day-dreamer: Same to you!