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Friday, January 28, 2005

Do you really want to hurt me?

I've heard from two separate sources that Maltanet (one of Malta's largest Internet Service Providers) is limiting access to websites located overseas in an effort to control bandwidth usage on the international internet backbone connecting Malta to the rest of the world. This is unbelievable!

I understand that Maltanet has a great challenge in offering a quality service at competitive rates and all that, but this is a ridiculous policy indeed. If Maltanet is having a hard time with its business, can you imagine what it's like for smaller independent internet service providers like Euroweb, Waldonet, and all the rest. Malta is too small a country and there's far too much good material coming in from web servers hosted abroad to justify this control in any way.

This is the worse example on propagating a digital divide I've heard since last year's unnecessary inflation in phone rates. It's almost as bad as Mintoff's old decree prohibiting "foreign political interference". (Remember that on?) How can the Malta Communications Authority let any service provider get away with this sort of policy? Better still, how can users remain subscribers of such a restrictive service?

Someone please tell me that this only Maltanet is resorting to such extreme measures. That way I can rest my mind that this is simply another ill-informed move on the part of a clueless business manager who is only concerned about the bottomline of the company rather than offering a reliable public service at affordable rates.

Blogger Kenneth said...

Unfortunately, I've heard many friends of mine (Maltanet ADSL subscribers themselves) complaining about a deteriorating service.

One question: are ADSL internet connections in the UK provided on a download-limit basis? It seems to be the latest trend locally, with more and more ISPs changing their pricing policies from an "unlimited" one (NB. with a number of ports blocked to disrupt P2P software) to a sort of pay-per-download basis. Once you exceed the download limit (e.g. 3GB / month), you may have to pay a fee.

Is this happening only in Malta, or is it the norm even abroad? 

4:54 PM, January 28, 2005
Blogger Toni Sant said...

Countries that are far larger than Malta, like the UK and USA, offer all sorts of services. I have direct experience with both these countries I mentioned. Only small ISPs have bandwidth metering in the USA, while in the UK there are some large ISPs, like Demon (the first British ISP) that offer unlimited bandwidth usage for a relatively low rate. I'm a Demon subscriber and I currently pay just £19.99 (approx. Lm12) per month for unlimited bandwidth usage. It's a great service. 

1:19 PM, February 05, 2005

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