12 Feb 2005

More GLC scams by Sinktel/Starhub

Mellanie Hewlitt
12 Feb 2005

Singapore Review

More GLC atrocities revealed. Both Singtel and Starhub remain government owned and government controlled entities. If there is any competition it is purely an illusion.

It is a fact that the technology for high-speed bandwidth has been around for decades. So the nice people at Starhub did not wake-up one morning and suddenly discover a way to increase bandwidth to 6.5mbps using existing connections. Both GLCs already had this capability decades back.

Instead of allowing consumers to have the full benefits of true high speed internet connectivity, both GLCs incurred added costs to place a tap on the connection to physically restrict bandwidth availability to consumers. The whole idea was to milk the end user. This collusion between both GLCs was worth the effort and costs as they could create segments in the market and basically sell the same product for a much higher price (at the expense of the end user of cause).

The crucial point here is that in a market where there are bona fide independently owned and runned [sic] Internet Service Providers competing with each other, this kind of collusion and exploitation would never have occured. It is only in the incestous world of Singapore's GLCs that scams like this can be co-ordinated between two government owned and controlled Internet Service Providers. To find out more about the incestous world of Singapore's GLCs see:

But the deception does not end there. What the Govt GLCs do not tell you is that you will only get the full benefits of increased bandwidth (of a 6.5 mbps line) if you are downloading data from another 6.5mbps user. Given the dismal content of local websites (which are subject to stringent local internet controls) over 90% of Singapore surfers rely heavily on overseas websites. And the majority of these overseas websites and servers do not have 6.5mbps bandwidth.

So if you are downloading a file from an overseas source that is using a 1.5mbps bandwidth, it does not matter if your own bandwidth is 6.5mbps as your download speed is restricted to the bandwidth of the source from which you are downloading your data.

Is it morally and ethically right for cash rich Government Linked Companies like Singtel and Starhub to exploit the customer in this fashion? Read on and find out more about the Singtel/Starhub scam.

You can view it in the context of the entire discussion by going to:


Anonymous said...

Interesting that this "informative" article comes out only after a very detailed report has already appeared in the state-owned Straits Times.

And this last-mile issue is not totally new to Singaporeans, for instance it's been discussed in IT class.

wandie said...

Agreed. The issue of bandwidth capping (or milking customers) is not unique to Singapore. However, attempting to bash the government with it may be.

Referring to the 'lowest common denominator' issues in internet speeds as a deception by the powers that be just stripped off any bit of credibility that the writer may have had.

Agagooga said...

This article is ridiculous

Malice said...

The article is accurate and hits the nail on the head. Fact is the GLCs are taking us for a ride.

If all pf u wanna find fault, at least focus on where the article is FACTUALLY WRONG.

wandie said...

malice, if you want to know if it's the truth, then sure, it's as true as a Micheal Moore documentary.

The article is as intentionally skewed as any 'nation education' article in the ST. You seem to believe that only GLCs are capable of taking you for a ride when Mellanie can drive just as well!

Why the author chose to interject a remark on 'local internet censorship' in a discussion about technological barriers is beyond me. It borders on trolling really. Perhaps she should write another article telling the people of [insert name of your favourite country here] that their ISPs are exploiting them by not bumping up their bandwidths to 6.5mbps too?

OldMcDonald said...

A lot of articles that appear here also appear in the Straits Times. He already said that he does not read the Straits Times.

True Flight said...

I don't actually know very much about these techie issues.

However, I would imagine that the concern arises because there would be some doubt whether the government regulator (TAS) would indeed take any effective steps to curb any unfair practices by these two GLCs.

The same kind of concern would not arise if, say, UOB, OCBC, Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank were alleged to have come together to collude in some unfair practice designed to exploit the Singapore public.

We would be able to have some degree of confidence that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which is the government body overseeing all financial institutions in Singapore, would step in, if necessary, to stop any such unfair practices or collusion by these non-GLC banks.

And if DBS, a GLC bank, tried on its own to exploit the Singapore public, well, at least Singaporeans have alternatives such as UOB, OCBC, Citibank, Standard Chartered, Maybank etc.

On the other hand, if the entire market for a particular service (eg Internet Service Provision) is cornered by government-linked companies (eg Singtel and Starhub), then there may be some doubt whether the relevant government authority (eg Telecom Authority of Singapore) would indeed take active steps against the GLCs. After all, if TAS did, and Singtel & Starhub were both prevented from milking the public, then the government's own profits would be hurt, wouldn't they.