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Malaysia speeds ahead

BT and the rest of the internet service providers (ISPs) – including Virgin with its optical-fibre network - have been moaning away about how difficult it all is, and how wretched customers who have paid premium rates for 'fast' broadband should read that phrase 'up to' in the fine print before they complain that they never get anywhere near the promised speed.

But BT and all those other klutzes are put to shame by Malaysia's leading ISP, Velchip. It's offering Malaysia's 60 million people unlimited high speed Internet connection of 224Mbps at a cost of less than a quid a month. I pay BT around £30 for an alleged 8Mbps which drops to as little as a hundredth of that speed when they stop pedalling in the local exchange.

The really irritating thing is how they do it: via the Malaysian national grid. Why irritating? Because broadband over power-line technology was being tested three or four years ago here in the UK. And Australia. And the US. Oh, and Scotland. We've heard very little of it since. Presumably because of such 'technical problems' as non-subscribers getting their neighbours' porn downloading into their toasters. Or was it because, and back in 2004 Winchester speed broadbanders were being charged £30 a month, it could be too inexpensive?

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