Unifi began marketing their services in/around OUG today. I saw their little road-side booths on the way back from dinner and they stuck some spam into my mailbox today. This reminded me of an incident that I had with Unifi about 4 months ago.
I had been observing their workmen laying cables in OUG for several weeks. So, I knew that OUG was in their service pipeline. Then, one day, I found a Unifi box sitting on a pole directly behind my house. So, I knew that all the physical infrastructure had been lain in my area. Being curious about these things, I called up their hot-line and asked some questions. It went something like this:
Me: I noticed that your workmen have completed laying cables in my area and that there is a Unifi box sitting on a pole behind my house. When can I expect the service in my area to be activated?
Unifi: Sir, although we have the Unifi boxes in your area does not mean that we have service in the area. I do not know when it will become available.
Me: …. wtf? ….
Unifi: However, I could put you in our list of interested customers and give you a call when it comes to your area. Would you like that?
Me: Yes, please!
After that, I thought to myself – it is only in Malaysia that an ISP will complete the roll-out of their physical infrastructure to only sit on their behinds and wait for an unknown amount of time before activating service. Every communications engineer knows that the most expensive part of supplying fibre-to-the-home is the laying of the physical infrastructure. The rest is just software!
In a normal business, one would like to recoup the capital expenditure as quickly as possible. So, once the wires have been lain, one would expect the company to immediately start their service. In fact, I would expect their marketing department to begin selling the service even before the cable laying had been completed. It only makes business sense that way!
But in Malaysia, things are different.
As for me, I will not sign up so soon. I understand, only too well, the kind of work that needs to be done and I would rather someone else be their guinea pigs before I install mine. I would like the installers to gain enough experience making holes inside walls before they make some in mine. Also, I hope that their network guys can sort out any operational hiccups before I get my service.
So, I might sign up in the second half of the year – once things settle down in my life.
PS: I have been waiting for the Streamyx service in my office since Dec 15 last year!