Malaysiakini News

Telcos reminded to reduce broadband prices

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Strict action will be taken against telecommunication companies (telcos) that fail to lower broadband prices, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.

He said only two telcos, had to date, adhered to the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) that was enforced in June 2018.

"The ministry initially set the deadline as July 31 (to review commercial discussions), however, there have been appeals to extend the period, so we have agreed to postpone it until the end of this month," he told reporters today after officiating the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) Preparatory Group meeting.

"So far, only Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Maxis Bhd have reviewed their pricing... we are still waiting for the other telcos to do the same. We'll take action against them if they fail to adhere to the MSAP by month-end. We are serious about this,” he said.

On July 13, Gobind tweeted that he hoped all telcos would come up with a proposal soon on ways to reduce broadband prices and increase the speed of the facility.

Earlier in his speech, Gobind said Malaysia had achieved 94.4 percent broadband penetration in populated areas of the country as of July. The target is to achieve 94.5 percent penetration by year-end.

“The target of achieving 95 percent broadband coverage in populated areas throughout the country by 2020 is achievable.

"To achieve the remaining five per cent may not sound difficult but those who have been in this industry know that it's the last few per cent which will be the most expensive to reach,” he said.

Gobind added that the remaining five per cent broadband coverage would be challenging and costly because of locations with diverse terrains, population densities and most importantly, differing distances to existing broadband infrastructure and networks.

The ministry, he said, would continue to facilitate quality improvement and affordable broadband services with the aim of achieving "double the speed, at half the price" by next year.

The APT meeting would end on Aug 30.

-- Bernama

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