Telcos, users seek win-win solution over broadband prices


The Communications and Multimedia Ministry is committed to providing a “winwin” solution to telecommunications companies in the market and consumers following the government plan to reduce the price of the broadband service in the country, the Dewan Rakyat was told yesterday.

Minister Gobind Singh Deo (picture) said the ministry is confident that telcos, that provided quality service at low prices, would be able to attract more customers which would translate into profits for the company.

“Some people say the profits of a telco will drop if the price of the broadband service is reduced. That’s not true. “On the contrary, if we are more competitive and offer a better service package, the customers will come and the customer base will expand and profits will rise,” he said.

Gobind Singh was replying to a question from Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said (BN-Kuala Krau) who asked the ministry to state the rationale for announcing a potential reduction in the price of the broadband service.

Ismail had also wanted to know the government’s move to ensure the profits of telcos such as Telekom Malaysia Bhd are in balance to bridge the urban-rural digital divide.

Gobind Singh said the government wanted all the people to have appropriate access to the Internet in terms of pricing, quality and world-class speed.

In this regard, he said, the ministry had announced the “double the speed, half the price” initiative and, in line with this, the ministry fully implemented the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) on June 8.

The MSAP imposes a wholesale ceiling price on the providers of facilities and services used by telcos in the market.

So far, he said, the wholesale price-setting discussions involving the relevant parties, including the telcos, are ongoing and are expected to be completed soon.

“The ministry anticipates the price of broadband service will drop by 25% by the end of this year,” he said.

Furthermore, he said, he had directed the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to look into other measures that could help to further reduce the price of the broadband service.

On another matter, Gobind Singh said Malaysia took a serious view of the cyber threats and was forging close cooperation and often holding discussions with countries in the region in seeking the best methods to address the threats.

“If there is a cyber threat, we need to act quickly. If there is an attack, it usually involves not just one country. We must have a system of close cooperation with the other countries of the region.

“I hope that by the end of this year, we can have discussions with the neighbouring countries on the methods to deal with cyber security threats and how we want to set up a system that will effectively deal with this problem,” he said when replying to a supplementary question, from Datin Mastura Mohd Yazid (BN-Kuala Kangsar) on cyber threats to the country.