BUDGET 2019’s target to get rural communities high-speed broadband within five years is “realistic”, according to Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
“We can actually set a bigger target for the speed. But to have a minimum target is realistic. 30Mbps is achievable within a short period of time,” he said.
He said the ministry had already hit the Budget’s target of pushing down the pricing of fibre broadband by up to 25%, through the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP), which has been in place since June.
In October, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said telcos such as Telekom Malaysia (TM), Maxis, Celcom and Time had announced new fixed broadband packages following the implementation of MSAP.
For example, TM reduced the price of its 30Mbps Internet plan from RM139 a month to just RM79 a month.
TM acting group chief executive officer Datuk Bazlan Osman said the company appreciated the government’s recognition of the importance of high-speed broadband to support the development of Malaysia’s digital economy.
“As Malaysia’s Convergence Champion, we have always provided quality broadband and telecommunication services across all segments – consumers, small and medium enterprises as well as the public sector,” Bazlan said in a statement.
He said TM would continue to play a major role in fulfilling digital and communication needs as it had the capabilities, resources and was well-placed to help drive the overall ecosystem.
Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia director Ahmad Izham Khairuddin said the National Fiberisation Connectivity Plan and the RM1bil allocation would benefit users greatly.
“More Malaysians, especially those living in rural areas, can get access to high-speed Internet,” he said.
A Maxis spokesman said the company was aware of the budget’s points, but would only issue a statement later.