Broadband is a term that describes the Internet as a function of high-speed data connections and large bandwidth. The Federation Communication Commission (FCC) defines broadband service as data transmission speeds exceeding 200 kilobits per second (Kbps), or 200,000 bits per second, in at least one direction, either downstream or upstream. Its fundamental ability to bring about change in the socioeconomic fabric hinges on it being a medium for greater amount of data transmission. Briefly, high capacity bandwidth allows greater amount of information to be transmitted which is the essence of all applications and communications. It is widely predicted that Internet through broadband will quickly penetrate the residential markets that is in line with the National Broadband Plan (NBP) that focuses on infrastructure readiness and market penetration, expediting the rollout of broadband using both fixed and wireless access. The first in the list of 10 National Policy Objectives as stated in the Communications & Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 reports the aspiration of turning Malaysia into a communications and multimedia global hub. Hashim (2006) states that a secretariat has been formed to roll out the NBP to ensure its success and to achieve the 10% of the population by 2008. Indeed, one of the fundamental strategies to accomplish such a vision is to put in place an efficient broadband network and ensure sufficient subscription to the services. Broadband is different from conventional dial-up services due to its many enhanced capabilities. It provides access to a wide range of Internet services and applications like streaming media, Internet phone, online gaming, and other interactive services. Many of these current and newly developed services are “bandwidth hungry,” thus requiring large amounts of data transfer at excessively fast speed, which may not be technically feasible with dial-up service. Therefore, broadband service may be increasingly necessary to access a full range of services and opportunities beyond what a dial-up service could potentially offer. Many residential customers who have been using traditional dial-up have been migrating to broadband. The constantly connected Internet accessibility remains another lucrative benefit for broadband converts as compared to the dial-up technology. Broadband technology does not block phone lines nor requires one to reconnect to the network after logging off. The dedicated connection for the user translates into less delay in transmission of content. A faster connection speed could allow users to access a wide range of resources, services, and products.
Broadband Adoption Factors
In order to determine the best way to accelerate broadband usage, one must understand the different factors that contribute to the adoption of broadband among Malaysian residents. A 4C model (i.e., cost, content, convenience, and confidence) has been identified to explain broadband adoption in the following discussion.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Fiber to the Premises (FTTP), Fiber to the Home (FTTH), Fiber to the Curb (FTTC), or Fiber to the Building (FTTB): A broadband telecommunications system based on fiber-optic cables and associated optical electronics for delivery of multiple advanced services such as of telephone, broadband Internet, and television across one link all the way.
Cash on Delivery (COD): COD is a financial transaction where the payment of products and/or services received is done at the time of actual delivery rather than paid for in advance. The term is mainly applied to products purchased from a third party, and payment is made to the deliverer. The concept of cash in this case is often blurred, because most companies also accept checks, credit cards or debit cards.
Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS): TRS is an operator service that allows people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech-disabled, and blind to place calls to standard telephone users via mobile phone, personal computer, or other assistive telephone device. Most TRS operators use regular keyboards to transcribe spoken voice as text for relaying
Local Area Network (LAN): LAN is a computer network covering a small geographic area, like a home, office, or group of buildings. Each node or computer in the LAN has its own computing power but it can also access other devices on the LAN subject to the permissions it has been allowed. These could include data, processing power, and the ability to communicate or chat with other users in the network
Internet: Internet is the worldwide, publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet protocol (IP). It is a “network of networks” that consists of millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and government networks, which together carry various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer, and the interlinked Web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL): It is an ordinary telephone line that is improved by expensive equipment, making it capable of transmitting broadband. DSL comes in many flavours, known collectively as xDSL.
ADSL: Asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) uses existing copper wire telephone lines to deliver a broadband service to homes. It is one of the most viable forms of digital subscriber lines due to its effectiveness over distance, that is, it does not require the user to be as close to an exchange as other forms of DSL. Asymmetric refers to the fact that it provides a faster downstream (towards the consumer) than upstream (towards the exchange) connection.
Video Relay Service (VRS): VRS is a telecommunication service that enables real-time two-way communication between deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-disabled individuals using a videophone and telephone users.
Virtual private network (VPN): VPN is a private communications network often used by companies or organizations to communicate confidentially over a public network. VPN traffic can be carried over a public networking infrastructure (e.g., the Internet) on top of standard protocols, or over a service provider’s private network with a defined Service level agreement (SLA) between the VPN customer and the VPN service provider.
Application Service Provider (ASP): ASP is a business that provides computer-based services to customers over a network. Software offered using an ASP model is also sometimes called on-demand software. The most limited sense of this business is that of providing access to a particular application program (such as medical billing) using a standard protocol such as HTTP.