KUALA LUMPUR: Telecommunication companies (telcos) have until the end of the month to conclude commercial discussions with a view towards lowering their broadband prices, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo (pic).
He said to date, only two telcos had adhered to the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) that was enforced in June.
“The ministry initially set July 31 as the deadline (to complete their discussions on reviewing broadband prices). However, there were appeals to extend the period, so we have agreed to postpone it until the end of this month,” he told reporters here yesterday 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,” he added.
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% broadband penetration in populated areas of the country as of July.
The target is to achieve 94.5% penetration by year-end.
“The target of achieving 95% broadband coverage in populated areas throughout the country by 2020 is achievable.
“To achieve the remaining 5% may not sound difficult but those who have been in this industry know that it’s the last few percentages which will be the most expensive to reach,” he said.
Gobind added that the remaining 5% 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 ends on Aug 30.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, Gobind said his ministry had no immediate plans to stop the “prank calls” programme run by radio stations, in response to a question from Twitter user @Bro_Razeef.
However, he said all views and suggestions were welcome and would be considered. — Bernama