TM, MYTV dispute expected to be resolved next week

Negotiations are progressing well with MYTV offering to settle the RM60m it owes to TM, say Gobind

By P PREM KUMAR & ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

The ongoing payment dispute between Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and MYTV Broadcasting Sdn Bhd is expected to be resolved next week following a series of talks held with both parties.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said negotiations between these two companies are progressing well with MYTV offering to settle the RM60 million it owes to TM for services rendered.

“I have instructed the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to try and resolve this problem. I understand the negotiation process has shown some results, which indicate a possible resolution in a week or two.

“I agree there needs to be a time limit to resolve the matter. Therefore, I hope a solution can be reached next week. Otherwise, as a minister, I will step in to meet both parties and see how we can solve the problem,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Gobind was responding to a query by Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari on the ministry’s immediate actions in resolving the suspended service of MYTV in several states.

MYTV is a private broadcasting company appointed by the government in 2014 to spearhead the migration of the country’s free-to-air television from analogue to full digital transmission.

The move would result in the “switch-off” of analogue terrestrial television signals in the first quarter of next year and free up a 700MHz telecommunication spectrum that will be repurposed for the telecommunications industry.

In 2014, TM and MYTV inked an agreement which will see the former receiving RM1 billion over a period of 15 years, or an annual contract value of RM70.47 million, for providing infrastructure and network services to MYTV.

TM’s provision would enable MYTV to operate the infrastructure and network facilities for digital terrestrial television (DDT) services in the country.

In a separate agreement signed last year, TM further allowed MYTV to use its telecommunications towers, distribution network and transmitters at 60 different sites.

Currently, there are only 34 DTT transmission sites covering 92.7% of the population nationwide. With 60 sites, 98% of the population will be covered.

The contract is said to be worth about RM915 million to be paid over a 15-year period comprising payments of RM61 million each year after all 60 sites have been set up. Since there are only 34 available sites, the payment is said to be lower.

It remains unclear what the payment dispute refers to, but it was reported that MYTV has spent over RM400 million on the project thus far and paid TM RM33 million for services in 2016 and 2017.

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