Average broadband prices reduced by 49%, says MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal

The speed has gone up 10 times faster than before

by SULHI KHALID/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE average broadband prices in the country have reduced by an average of 49% through the introduction of Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said its chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak (picture).

According to Al-Ishsal, Malaysia’s entry level fixed broadband packages have increased from 10 megabytes per second (Mbps) to 30Mbps while the price has dropped from RM139 to RM79 per month.

“From June to December last year, we have managed to reduce the broadband prices by 49% and the speed has gone up 10 times faster than before,” he told reporters during National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) briefing yesterday.

MSAP, which was implemented in June last year required telecommunication companies (telcos) to submit access agreements that will result in the reduction in fixed broadband prices.

The World Bank Group in its Economic Monitor report published earlier this year highlighted high-speed broadband access rates are much higher in Malaysia, relative to other countries as it ranks 74th out of 167 countries for fixed broadband services and 64th out of 117 countries for fibre broadband services.

Separately, Al-Ishsal said the RM21.6 billion estimated budget for the NFCP will be half funded by the Universal Service Provision (USP) fund, while the remaining will be channelled by the capital expenditure of telecommunications companies (telcos) in Malaysia.

He further said that the USP fund will be regulated by MCMC and commercially by the service providers.

This clarification comes after MCMC addressed the allegations made on social media over the NFCP “mega project” status after the government approved the RM21.6 billion budget for NFCP over a five-year period (2019-2023).

NFCP — which is slated for launch on Sept 19 — targets to provide an average speed of 30Mbps in 98% of populated areas and gigabit speeds in selected industrial areas by 2020 and in all state capitals by 2023.

The initiative is also expected to enhance economic competitiveness of the country in high-impact industrial areas, mobile coverage without fibre network connection to telco towers, as well as public areas including schools, hospitals, libraries and police stations.

“Looking at our plans under NFCP and based on certain assumptions on number of towers and kilometres of fibre optics to be developed, we came up with the RM21.6 billion figure after discussion with telcos,” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on the cyber security threats and data breach cases, Al-Ishsal said the regulator will issue a statement in due course.

“Cyber security attacks happen everywhere in the world and we are on top of everything,” he said, declining to elaborate further on the matter.