We tend to only count our blessings when we lose them, or in my case, about to lose them! Next month God-willing I will be going to Auckland, New Zealand, and like all other excited people who’ll be going to live abroad for a good portion of his next 4 years, I dig up a lot of stuffs about living there. Those stuffs are mostly to be looked forward too, like the cooler temperature, the more temperate climate, the snow-capped mountains, the lush vegetation, the wide expanse of grass fields, the vineyard, the countless sheeps and cows and the list goes on and on…

But among those items in the list, there is one pretty essential item that pulls the whole excitedness a bit down. Not so much, just a bit, but enough to warrant a mention here in this blog. Yeah you guessed it (drumroll please, and loudspeaker), IT IS THE INTERNET.

First off, let’s get rid of those speculations in your mind. They do have internet there, it’s mostly faster than our connection speed here, and it’s fairly easy to subscribe and affordable, and there’s a huge range of plans available, including the wireless ones. So what’s the catch? Limited bandwidth! Yes you heard me right, they cap the amount of data we can use per month!

While we here in Malaysia we practically bathe in excess bandwidth (though at time we have to collect and pool the trickling drops), using as much as we want to our heart’s content. And it’s not my fault to be born in Malaysia at this age that has conditioned me to make downloading movies and softwares and games and tv shows a daily routine. With those money-saving habits, my bandwidth usage alone can easily go more than 100GB a month! And you know how much is the average bandwidth cap ISPs in New Zealand offer you: in the range of 10GB to 20GB. That’s one-fifth of my monthly use! Anything more, and you have to pay exorbitant outrageously expensive additional charges for every single MB you use. Darn.. I’m already seeing few bandwidthetiquette floating around in my head…..

And if you Australia-bound people think you’re lucky, sorry to blow your bubbles. It’s even more horrendous in Australia, with more expensive rates.

If you’re wondering why we have such a priviledge of unlimited bandwidth here in Malaysia while those people in Australia and New Zealand have long given up hope for such a thing, it’s purely economical. If you feel a need to fuel the anger in you enough to motivate you to really know why, head on to this extremely long and detailed but interesting post. Well if you don’t, here’s the gist. Greater land area means greater amount of cables to lie down. Greater amount of cables means greater costs. Top that up with a much lesser population density per square miles which means less income sources to cover the costs, they have no choice but to hike the rates up. And with that comes together the pay-per-usage bandwidth scheme.

Dammit. I’m already seeing the possible end of my premium Rapidshare-ing days…