Best Broadband Plans For Your Wallet

There certainly a lot more broadband plans available today than ever before. We take you through some of the biggest contenders in the market with a lowdown on what you can expect in terms of value.

There are many ways to experience the internet at home these days. In the past, it used to be dial-up, where you make a 'phone call' from your computer to the internet provider and it gives you broadband. Besides performing much faster than dial-up, broadband offers a couple of other key benefits. It's always connected, so you don't need to wait for the internet provider to 'answer your call', and it allows you to make and receive phone calls on the same line while it's being used.

The old ADSL broadband (usually referred to as TM's Streamyx service. But it is actually called non-FTTH and we'll explain that in a bit) is normally delivered to your home via the phone line so you don't have to do any extra drilling or installing, while FTTH requires some extra work as its typically delivered through a different line which needs to be installed.

Normally you'll get a broadband modem and/or router, which allows your computer to use the signal, of course, all this equipment costs the service provider money, so most will lock you into a minimum 12-month contract (for FTTH 24-month contracts are the norm!) to recoup costs. Until the emergence of Fibre to the Home (FTTH), that is. First introduced to the mass market by TM 2 years ago, it is touted to consistently support up to 10Gbps bandwidth and the cost to have this service at home is almost as comparable as the conventional home broadband.

Basically, FTTH is supposed to be faster, more reliable and not necessarily that much more expensive than ADSL broadband.

Sounds like digital dream but we’re not sold until it is available to every home in Malaysia. FTTH is currently being rolled out in stages across the country, with a handful of providers offering plans to the public.

Before we dissect the plans offered by the broadband players to find out which is the cheapest plan you can get, it is worth to note that they will be grouped into FTTH and non-FTTH. We know the agony of living outside FTTH coverage areas, hence the non-FTTH category to fulfill your Internet needs.

Only providers with coverage of at least the Klang Valley and 10 major cities in Malaysia are eligible for this showdown. This means guys like Jaring, VDT and Giga are left out. We will look at the plans in a 24-month context and show you how much money you can actually save by choosing the right plan.

Road warriors and those who don’t need WiFi at home, you’re not #foreveralone. We have a Cheapest Mobile Broadband section especially for you!

Cheapest Fibre To The Home Broadband (the 'faster' type)

TIME Fibre Home Broadband and Astro TV Selection

Drawbacks: Only available as a bundle with Astro. Only available at Klang Valley and Penang as of writing.

Monthly Fee: RM156.88 (10Mbps), RM209.88 (20Mbps), RM262.88 (30Mbps). These prices are solely for Time broadband and are inclusive of GST.

Bundled Monthly Fee: And additional RM42.35 to RM164.30 depending on your selection of Astro TV Packages. This package is only available as a bundle. Prices are inclusive of GST.

Contract Period: 24 months, with an RM100 termination fee for every month remaining.

Speed: 10Mbps, 20Mbps and 30Mbps

Download Quota: Unlimited

Deposit: Not required.

Free Equipment: Wi-Fi router, optical network unit, Astro PVR decoder and remote control.

The Time Fibre Home Broadband and Astro TV Selection package offers you both Astro IPTV and TIME Fibre Home Broadband in a single subscription. Astro IPTV will be delivered through TIME's fibre optics cable, which means your TV viewing experience would not be disrupted during storms. This service also enables certain high rise buildings to access HD content.

This subscription comes together with HD channels, over 700 hours of Video on Demand content and unlimited downloads. You get to choose between 3 broadband speed and 4 Astro packages.

If you are just interested in just fibre broadband, check out TIME's package below.

TIME Fibre 100Mbps Home Broadband

Drawbacks: Only available for high rise residential buildings (flats, apartments, and condominiums). Mainly available in Klang Valley, with a few buildings in Pahang, Penang and Johor.

Monthly Fee: RM179. Price exlusive of GST.

Contract Period: 24 months

Speed: 100Mbps

Download Quota: 100GB (Both uploads and downloads count towards your quota).

Deposit: Not required.

Free Equipment: Cisco router worth RM300 (or Linkysys Wi-Fi router), an optical network unit and a DECT cordless phone.

Total Cost over 24-months: RM4,296

At 100Mbps, the TIME Fibre 100Mbps Home Broadband is the fastest home internet access in Malaysia. However it comes with a 100GB quota which counts both download and upload usage.

When you have finished your 100GB quota, your home broadband speed would be throttled to 1Mbps. You could purchase extra quota.

The package comes with TIME Voice Home Basic package, but you could upgrade to the TIME Voice Home 10 Plan for RM10 per month to get 2,000 free voice call minutes.

TIME Fibre Unlimited Home Broadband

Drawbacks: Only available for high rise residential buildings (flats, apartments, and condominiums). Mainly available in Klang Valley, with a few buildings in Pahang, Penang and Johor.

Monthly Fee: RM129 (8Mbps), RM179 (15Mbps), RM279 (30Mbps), RM399 (50Mbps). Price exlusive of GST.

Contract Period: 12 or 24 months

Speed: 100Mbps

Download Quota: Unlimited.

Installation: RM249 for 12-month contract, free for 24-month contract. There is an RM10 stamp duty.

Free Equipment: Cisco router worth RM300 (or Linkysys Wi-Fi router), an optical network unit and a DECT cordless phone.

30 hours of free boost per month up to 50Mbps. You can buy additional 50Mbps boost on top of your monthly boost limit.

The package comes with TIME Voice Home Basic package, but you could upgrade to the TIME Voice Home 10 Plan for RM10 per month to get 2,000 free voice call minutes.

Unfortunately, TIME isn't available everywhere just yet. To find out if they cover your housing are, you can check out TIME Home Broadband's availability on their website before you sign up.

Maxis Fibre Internet

Drawbacks: not available in many areas yet, check availability in your area!

Monthly Fee: RM148 (10Mbps), RM198 (20Mbps), RM248(30Mbps). Price exclusive of GST.

Contract Period: 24 months

Speed: 10Mbps

Download Quota: Unlimited

Upfront Costs: RM200 waived for standard installation,RM75 phone service deposit waived

Free Equipment: Residential Wi-Fi modem, welcome kit, RM30 worth of Home Voice credit and unlimited free calls to Maxis fixed lines.

For those who lives in landed properties, Maxis is a great alternative. If you are currently using a Maxis Oneplan, you could get RM20 off on monthly bill if you sign up for this internet plan.

The installation fee of RM200 is waived, however additional charges incur should you require a non-standard installation. The RM 75 phone service deposit is also waived until further notice. For non-Malaysian residents, a RM 500 fee is applicable.

Maxis is still quite new to the FTTH (HSBB) market, so do check if your home is hooked up and ready for it first!. A word of warning: an RM500 termination fee will be charged if you terminate within the contract period.

TM UniFi VIP

Drawbacks: mediocre speed; most expensive

Monthly Fee: RM157.94 (5Mbps), RM210.94 (10Mbps), RM263.94 (20Mbps). Price inclusive of GST.

Contract Period: 24 months

Download Quota: Unlimited

Upfront Costs: None

Free Equipment: Broadband Termination Unit (Modem), WiFi Residential Gateway (Router), DECT phone, HyppTV Set-Top Box

TM has the widest coverage area among all, so it may be the only option for many. So what does UniFi VIP offer? You get 5Mbps, 10Mbps or 20Mbp with unlimited quota (until further notice) for RM157.94, RM210.94 or RM263.94. You'll also get to take RM2 off if you make an autopay subscription. The package comes with a full set of TM Home Internet equipment and HyppTV Channels.

Although there isn't any upfront cost, you can expect to see an installation fee of RM200 on your first monthly bill but TM often waives this so do ask if a waiver is possible at the time of sign-up. Warning: termination within contract period will be charged with a RM500 and should you relocate your internet connection to a new area, you must pay a relocation fee of RM300.

Cheapest Non-FTTH (ADSL and Mobile-but-use-at-home Broadband)

For people who lives in non- Fibre-ready areas, non-FTTH provides a cost effective solution sometimes without having to sacrifice internet speed.

However, in many cases unlimited downloads are out of the window. As before, only providers with coverage of at least the Klang Valley and 10 major cities in Malaysia are eligible for this showdown. This means guys like Maxis Home Wired and Jaring are left out.

Broadband speed advertisements are not necessarily the same everywhere. It is important that you check the performance level within your area. It is not so much of the max speed but rather, how well your broadband are able to perform in your area. We've laid out some worthy plans based on lowest price.

TIME Broadband

Drawbacks: not available in many areas yet, check availability in your area.

Monthly Fee: RM119 (2Mbps), RM159 (6Mbps), RM219 (12Mbps). Price not inclusive of GST.

Contract Period: 12 or 24 months

Speed: Download speed corresponds to the package of choice. The upload speed for all packages are limited to 2Mbps.

Download Quota: Unlimited

Upfront Costs: One month fee in advance (refundable), RM150 Activation fee (12 months contract) and RM10 Stamp Duty

Free Equipment: Modem, Additional 2Mbps @ 4 hours per day

If Fibre connectivity is not available in your area, then the best ADSL plan in the market would be what you need. The availability of TIME Broadband is limited; not to mention that you'll need to check for availability in your area. TIME Broadband offers some of the cheapest plans in this category and the download quota for this plan is unlimited.

TIME also offer 12-months contract for TIME Broadband. If you prefer 12-months contract, you need to pay an RM150 activation fee, one month advance fee of RM119 (assuming that you choose 2Mbps) and RM10 stamp duty. So, the total upfront cost you need to pay is RM279.

If the speed is too slow for you, you could get a free boost from TIME. How does it work? You can get additional 2Mbps for 4 hours per day. On top of that, you can get a free modem if you sign up for TIME Broadband.

TM Streamyx BB Deal

Drawbacks: Not the cheapest plans for the amount of speed offered.

Monthly Fee: RM116.60 (1Mbps), RM137.80 (2Mbps), RM148.40(4Mbps) and RM169.60(8 Mbps). Prices are inclusive of GST.

Contract Period: 12 months

Download Quota: Unlimited

Upfront Costs: RM79.50 for activation; RM93.28 for installation (if applicable); First and 2nd month advanced subscription fee; RM10 for stamp duty fee (effective 1st May 07) will be included in the first bill.

Free Equipment: Free Wi-Fi modem, TM Wi-Fi ID, cordless phone, free calls to TM Fixed Lines nationwide

TM's Streamyx broadband is the one of the oldest broadband services in Malaysia. Streamyx has also the widest coverage area. The monthly fees are RM2 cheaper if you opt for autopay and if you register online, you can get a free 1-month subscription.

P1 ToGo

Drawbacks: Basic plans, which are not really fast but simply adequate for surfing.

Monthly Fee: RM62.54 (1Mbps, 5GB quota), RM115.54 (1Mbps, unlimited), RM168.54 (2Mbps, unlimited). Prices are inclusive of GST.

Contract Period: 24 months

Speed: 1Mbps

Download Quota: Depending on your package, although your speed will be throttled if you exceed 100GB per month.

Upfront Costs: RM106 activation fee and advance payment of RM100 to offset the first bill.

Free Equipment: Choose from 2 different modems for home usage or 4 different modems for usage on-the-go.

One of the perks of this package is the choice to select a modem for on-the-go usage, which could be of convenience for users who value mobility. P1 ToGo also offers additional discounts, or 1 month of free internet depending on the modem you select. You will be charged with a RM53 registration fee but the total amount will be divided into 5 monthly bills. Therefore, you will pay RM10.60 for the first 5 months. There is an RM200 early termination fee and an extra RM100 fee for termination within 12 months of a 24-month contract.

Cooling-off Period

Before you sign up for a home broadband service, it is important to know if the service provider offers a cooling-off period. A cooling-off period offers a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the performance within an agreed trial period. A cooling-off period allows you to test the service provider's internet speed to verify if they are up to the advertised speed and consistency.

As of writing, only Maxis and P1 offers a cooling-off period with their subscriptions.

Heavy Users, Light Users, and Everyone Else in Between

Whatever your internet needs are, be it a no-frills package for light browsing, a powerful fibre broadband for streaming and downloading or a reliable connection for gaming purposes, there is surely a package for you. Let us find you one with our Fibre and ADSL package comparator.

Prices and information sourced from the relevant company website and correct as at 20.4.2015.

0 comments

Agree or disagree with this post? Questions? Be the first to post!