The Malaysian government has announced that the price of basic broadband packages is to be cut as it attempts to make participation in the digital and internet economies available to all.
As regional newspaper the New Straits Times reports, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek confirmed that the price of broadband will come down by between 10% and 57%.
The decision was made following talks with telecoms companies back in February, with most of the new packages to be made available within a month.
The announcement affects both mobile and fixed-line services, as politicians seek to bridge the digital divide in the country and provide greater connectivity.
Tan Sri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa, Telekom Malaysia Group chief executive officer, suggested that telecom operators were firmly behind the move, noting just how crucial it is that all Malaysians have access to the internet.
"This is in line with our aspiration to deliver an integrated digital lifestyle with an enhanced and seamless customer experience beyond technology, products and services and devices," he added.
Digi CEO Albern Murty spoke in a similar fashion, saying that the decision aligns with Digi's 'Internet for All' promise "which is rooted on the same principle of affordable access for broadband and mobile Internet services."
Shabery also recognised the need to improve quality of services – especially as the country shifts towards a transaction-based economy, with more and more people looking to pay for services online.
In order for quality of services to sufficiently improve there must be consistent and ample investment, he explained.
With cost reductions enabling more people to connect online, those that were previously ‘unreachable’ can gain broadband access, expanding on data growth in Malaysia. Will this approach be adopted in other countries in Asia and the developing world?