Monday 25 Sep 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 24): The cancellation by Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the national fiberisation plan is a boon to the industry, and does not affect the government’s agenda to roll out nationwide internet connectivity.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the end to the cooperation between the two national utilities breaks the monopoly in the industry.

“It also allows them (TM and TNB) to work independently with us and companies, to provide the infrastructure throughout the country. Several parties have voiced out their concern that if there is any cooperation between TNB and TM, it would cause a huge monopoly in the industry.

“This would be a barrier for companies to provide similar services, leading to competition and a better system,” he said in reply to a supplementary question by Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong in Parliament.

Yesterday, the entities told Bursa Malaysia that their decision to terminate the MoU signed on Jan 16 this year was mutual and with immediate effect, without giving any reason.

However, they jointly said the discontinuation did not preclude them from considering other collaborations, should there be future business opportunities that are beneficial to both parties.

During the signing early this year, both the government-linked companies said the collaboration will capitalise on their strengths, enabling the most efficient cost structure and accelerating the fibre broadband network reach, in line with the government’s move to drive Malaysia’s digital economy.

Over the weekend, Gobind reportedly said the government may replace the previous government’s NFP with the National Connectivity Plan to allow wider and more extensive Internet accessibility.

Today, he said the MoU had shown some form of cooperation or partnership between the two entities.

“We want [to] assure Malaysians that despite the termination of the fiberisation plan, the government would continue with its agenda to ensure internet connectivity nationwide,” he added.

Gobind said it has been his focus since he became the minister to ensure internet is accessible at a lower rate and higher speed, and that good quality is provided soon.

“Apart from the focus on fiberisation, we must also understand that the last mile such as rural areas, would need a wireless service,” he reiterated.

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