THE merger of Internet service providers TMNet and Jaring may be completed six months from now, said parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Energy, Communications and Multimedia Chia Kwang Chye.
“Hopefully, the merger could be effected faster,” he added. It would depend on how fast the two parties could complete technology and financial integration. As of June, TMNet had 2.7 million dial-up subscribers, and Jaring about 700,000.
Upon completion of the merger, Jaring dial-up and broadband users would be charged TMNet's rates, Chia said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday on the sidelines of a signing ceremony at which AT & T Communications Services (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd appointed VADS Bhd as local managed service provider for its portfolio of global managed networking services.
Chia said that with the cut in broadband rates for home and commercial users announced in Budge 2004, he anticipated a surge in demand for broadband services.
To date, Streamyx, the broadband service offered by TMNet, has about 71,000 subscribers, of whom 90% are home users.
Telekom Malaysia Bhd would reduce current broadband rates for home and commercial users by 30% and 50% (in stages), with selected higher bandwidth packages seeing larger discounts.
“In this regard, they have given their commitment as announced by my minister (Datuk Amar Leo Moggie) in a speech in Parliament, that Telekom will reduce its rates beginning Nov 1,” he added.
With the rate cut, a 384kilobit per second Streamyx package without modem would cost RM44 per month, compared with RM60 previously, he said.
Telekom chairman Tan Sri Datuk Mohd Radzi Mansor, who was present at the event, said the company was gearing up to provide new areas with broadband access.
“At the moment, Streamyx is not 100% available nationwide. We are building up as the demand comes in. So, the chicken and egg story is not quite true,” he added.