PUTRAJAYA: The prices of fixed broadband services in Malaysia are expected to see a reduction by at least 25 per cent by end of the year, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
He said this was following the implementation of the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) that was enforced on June 8.
“The relevant parties are currently in commercial discussions to finalise the wholesale prices.
“The process is scheduled to be concluded in July or August, after which new, lower priced broadband packages will be rolled out to consumers,” he told a press conference today.
He said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had last year conducted a review on MSAP and the revised prices were to be introduced on Jan 1.
“However, the revised prices were not implemented as Telekom Malaysia (TM) had appealed to MCMC to reconsider the position of some of the pricing components. The decision to review the broadband prices was then put on hold pending consideration by the minister at that time.
“I have also instructed MCMC to consider other options available that would further reduce the prices of broadband and to monitor the service. This to ensure that affordable starter package is offered to consumers.”
On a separate issue, Gobind also said the ministry would conduct an independent audit on two funds under the supervision of MCMC, namely, MCMC fund and the Universal Service Provision (USP) fund.
“According to MCMC financial statements, the first fund has RM800mil, while the USP fund has RM8.5bil as at Dec 31, 2018,” he said, adding that the decision was made after receiving inquiries on the distribution and spending of the funds.
He said the audit would be able to verify the amount and determine whether the spending of the funds were done in a transparent manner.
“The MCMC fund was established for the commission’s usage in accordance to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, while the USP fund, which is also managed by MCMC, is aimed at closing the digital gap between the rural sites and areas with limited Internet access. It is carried out through infrastructure projects and telecommunication companies are required to contribute to the fund.
“The audit is expected to address the weaknesses in the funds’ expenditure and problems related to awarding of project tenders,” he said.
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