Regulatory Action Uplifts Malaysia’s Telecommunications Sector
The progressive efforts of the Malaysian Government in uplifting the country’s telecommunications sector have been recognised by the World Bank in its latest report on Malaysia Economic Monitor: Re-energising the Public Service, which was published on 30 June 2019.
One of the articles in the report entitled, “Malaysia’s need for speed: How regulatory action is unleashing ultrafast internet” acknowledges the initiatives undertaken by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), in support of YB Gobind Singh Deo, Minister of Communications and Multimedia who minted the ‘Double the speed, half the price’ mantra as the guiding principle in providing affordable fixed broadband services with faster
The implementation of Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) by MCMC in October 2018 produced an average of 49% reduction in the prices of high-speed broadband services. Prior to the price reduction, prices of entry level packages ranged from RM119 to RM129 for 10Mbps. With MSAP, the prices of entry level packages ranged from RM79 to RM89 for 30Mbps.
In addition, the number of fixed broadband subscriptions with download speeds of more than 100 Mbps grew by a factor of eight to 1.2 million subscribers in 2018, from 150,000 in 2017. In terms of accessibility, the World Bank article outlined that Malaysia is well poised in closing the gap between leading countries with respect to internet speed. It is worth to note that Malaysia’s average fixed broadband speed has accelerated more than three-fold in 17 months, from 22.5 Mbps in January 2018 to 68.5 Mbps in May 2019, above the global average of 59.6 Mbps.
Under the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), MCMC plans to improve affordability, quality and accessibility of digital connectivity as a pathway for the country to usher the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) that brings with it disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, and virtual engineering.
MCMC Chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak said: “The World Bank report is a testament of the effectiveness of initiatives, policies, and actions implemented by MCMC. As a regulator of the communications and multimedia industry, our aim is to ensure that the standard of connectivity nationwide can unlock added-value to the people as well as catalyse strong and sustainable economic growth for the country.