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Brunei: ‘Slow Internet is Almost Like Censorship’

Categories: East Asia, Brunei, Economics & Business

Brunei internet users are complaining against the slow and unreliable internet connection in their country.

Writing for The Brunei Times [1], Shareen Han cited a study by the World Economic Forum which listed Brunei as having one of the most expensive internet rates [2] in Southeast Asia. But many Brunei netizens feel they are getting poor internet service [3] for the high fees they are paying.

Through Twitter, The Brunei Times posted [4] this question:

Are you satisfied with Internet services in #Brunei?

A tweetup event in Brunei. Bruneians are among the most active social media users in Asia. Photo from Flickr page of Reeda [5]

A tweetup event in Brunei. Bruneians are among the most active social media users in Asia. Photo from Flickr page of Reeda

‏The replies are mostly complaints about the slow internet connection provided by the country’s three major telco providers. @nadiebytes [6] even compared the slow internet to censorship:

No! The internet provides easy access to a wealth of info. Slow internet is almost like censorship.

Here are similar comments about the slow internet in Brunei:

@ZeekCrazy [7] I don't think even the mouse is satisfied.

@janetlivetravel [8] No! It's 2013. Internet, technology, information and social media should be there with just a click of a finger. TOO SLOW

@masruuuuur [9] Try finding someone who IS satisfied

‏@almstfrsh [10] not worth what we're paying for. Inconsistent. Unstable. Need I say more?

@AmeerahIsa [11] seriously NOT HAPPY with it. I mean we pay for so and so mbps, and the speed is not even near to what we paid for.

@_hakims [12] very disappointing.. even my parents complain.. sorry #workitout

@ongscw [13] Investigations on regular service disruptions should be conducted. I would choose SLOW Internet over NONE AT ALL any day.

@Aliffen41 [14] Light years away from it.

@bobby_trisyia [15] thankful but not satisfied..slow and expensive

According to a report, Brunei has at least 200,000 internet users who are among the most active in social media usage in Asia. However, only 56 per cent of Bruneians are internet users.

Some internet users are actually quite satisfied with the quality of internet in the country:

@AnwarOmarAli [16] yes very satisfied.

@berrymerlina [17] speed, yes! High price can't be argued because of population & competition unlike other countries

@Yunn_ha [18] even if there's vast improvements with the speed, We will never be(satisfied). Haha #sobrunei

@oxba [19] 6 years ago, 3G wasn't around and ADSL was at 256kbps. 10 years ago, I can't even surf the web on my mobile. I am satisfied.

Even before the publication of the article in The Brunei Times about the internet quality in the country, Bruneians have been complaining about it for some time already:

@Natterulala [20] Brunei's internet is the main reason why most bruneians suffer from High Blood Pressure and Depression.

@AzizHarun212 [21] OMG Brunei's internet really knows how to piss people off

Elliop notes that internet speed has not improved [22] in Brunei:

I don’t know about you but I for one am wondering why in this day and age where internet speeds are measured not in single digits but 10’s or 100’s of Mbps. Brunei’s internet speed has not changed much in years, and is lagging behind the rest of the world significantly.

A petition [23] was created demanding answers about the slow internet in Brunei:

We the people of Brunei want to know:
• Why Brunei’s internet access speed is so slow?
• Why Brunei’s internet access is unreliable?
• When will the internet access reliability be improved.

Joe King thinks telcos are not pressured to improve service:

The problem is they are the monopoly in the market here, so they do not feel the pressure to deliver what we need. Who else can we turn to to get quality service? They're only out to get your money