Greetings Jalak Lenteng,
You are right on target. But I would like to touch on issues of demand, content and carrier you had raised earlier in a random order. Let's look across the causeway. The whole island is already wired by SingaporeOne which allows telecommunication, ISP and contents at your finger tips. Problem is, there is lack of contents. The authority there is encouraging and providing assistance not just financial and moral support for independent works, but also creating the medium. Face it, the foremost problem for independent talents in music, film, etc. is lack of outlets for their work. I would say broadstream technology is god gift to creative ideas.
OK let's look at 2002 instead of 2-3 years down the road. Malaysians living in Johor would able to watch (again) Singapore's Arts Central Television dedicated to performance arts and independent works from around the world. Imagine a tiny island of 3 million with a big majority Chinese viewers could afford to provide spectacular content choices to its people. And making money despite competition with other free-to-air and cable mainstream channels. It won't be viable just for the expatriate market you say? Looking at the contents of Arts Central from around the world you would wonder what is lacking about Malaysians. Who to be blamed if MegaTV, Astro and Telekom were fighting for the same HBOs when they should be supporting local independent works.
Put the Internet, TV, cable, satellite and broadstream technology together you would get a Web TV, video on demand, pay per view, etc. Now this is a killer for the creative inclined. You not only have the outlet (carrier) but could actually promote and sell your products (content) globally. The beauty is you're not competing with mainstream products in a limited local market. Like every product in any shops, you park somewhere waiting for buyer around the world to shop and pick. It is an indie product for a niche market. From the position of independent talents and content developer, it is better to look at this in term of product accessibility. As I said earlier, online channel is only supplementary. If someone makes a multi-million movie exclusively for broadstream he must be super rich or a moron. Even local cinemas would not guarantee profits to any film makers like Yusuf Haslam. Malaysia is never a center for content demand and supply plus its bad infrastructure. We have seen nothing encouraging there. Singapore is way ahead in terms of infrastructure, incentive and a very globalize market. Acknowledging this very earlier, we have transferred our business portals and content concepts to Singapore. Our organization is projecting ourselves as Asian global instead of dot.my s.
Knowing the existing problem is ok. Finding a solution to that problem is good. Translating the solution into opportunity is better. Isn't that the road to innovation?
Jalak Lenteng wrote:
agree with you on this broadband issue, theboss.
way back in 1997/8 telekom was courting with the idea of coming up with video on demand (vod), and my comments back then was based on three issues: demand, content and carrier.
demand - astro was doing quite well in offering a couple of channels for movies and a reasonable price, thus to compete with a market leader (in the local market at least) was quite expensive. we did see how megatv had to cease operations, didn't we?
content - the vod project would depend very much on foreign content. the operator would have no choice but to compete with the existing operator (astro and independent local distributors) for screening rights. it was going to be expensive getting the rights. local content (except b&w films) was i thought not good enough to draw in subscribers.
carrier - the peninsula was quite extensively networked with fibre optics. copper lines were just too cluttered for efficient broadband purposes, particularly with the ever existing demand for normal phones and fax. to get connected via isdn in setiawangsa (where my office currently is) for example, was already difficult as telekom was having problems upgrading its exchanges.
after 3/4 years, the last mile connection seems to be the issue with telekom now, prompting the government to issue 4 asp (last mile connection) licences. but these companies simply cannot implement the service due to the economics.
the more feasible way out i thought is by introducing broadband satellite communications. i know of someone trying to introduce it, but he is currently bogged down with user demand and application issues. in addition, since entry cost is quite large, he would need at least an anchor user to make it profitable.
the cost and speed you ask? well it is incredibly cheap for even 128kbps, and you can go to even 64mbps if i'm not mistaken. for home users, he is working on a budget of between rm60 to rm80 per month (flat) for a 128kbps connection. but this is only for data. no voice. and the entry for home users would be between rm400 to rm500. dirt cheap i would think. you can see the savings even in the very first year!
until then, we should keep this dream of enjoying broadband connextion away.