In a much-awaited development for Malaysian consumers, internet prices are set to witness a decline this September as the government adopts the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP). Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil made this announcement during the monthly assembly of the Communications and Digital Ministry (KKD) held recently.
The implementation of MSAP is expected to result in reduced internet wholesale prices, paving the way for more affordable internet packages. Minister Fahmi expressed optimism that the cost of internet services would become even more budget-friendly with the introduction of this standard.
He stated, "Insya-Allah by this September internet prices will be cheaper If it is already cheap, it will be even cheaper now."
The move comes as a positive step in improving access to digital connectivity across the nation. On July 11th, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) revealed that the reduction in retail prices for fixed broadband services, based on MSAP, would be implemented after the completion of the access agreement among service providers.
Currently, most access providers have either published or are in the process of publishing the Reference Access Offer (RAO).
Earlier this year, in February, the government launched the Fixed Broadband Unity Package aimed at assisting the B40 group, veterans, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens. This package offers a 24-month subscription contract at a competitive RM69 per month, providing internet speeds of up to 30Mbps with unlimited data.
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Looking to expand internet access further, Minister Fahmi shared plans to introduce a new policy that ensures internet availability in areas with road access, including major roads. The policy, jointly developed by the KKD and major telecommunication companies, is set to kick off soon, focusing on rapid implementation to ensure wider internet coverage.
"We must work faster; the reality is we can talk and pride ourselves on the availability of 5G, but people still very much want basic 4G access wherever they are," Fahmi emphasized, highlighting the importance of internet connectivity as a fundamental utility akin to water and electricity supply.
The Minister commended several telecommunication companies for their commitment and readiness to sign the access agreement for 5G implementation. Additionally, these companies have been cooperative in executing the Unity Package, now known as the RAHMAH Package, aimed at cost reduction for consumers.
On July 21st, Fahmi disclosed that the Task Force on Implementation of Dual 5G Network in Malaysia had reached agreements on equity participation in Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) and the 5G access agreement with DNB. Telecommunication giants including CelcomDigi, Maxis, Telekom Malaysia, U-Mobile, and YTL Communications will finalize the shareholding process in DNB.
The upcoming drop in internet prices is poised to make a significant impact on the lives of Malaysian citizens, ensuring greater affordability and accessibility to essential digital services. As the government continues to work towards improving digital infrastructure and connectivity, citizens can anticipate a brighter digital future ahead.
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