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Lower Internet charges soon? [26-04-2011]  
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Malaysia could see cheaper Internet charges from one of three projects announced by the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture yesterday.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim announced the formation of a 24-member regional reach consortium to subscribe to international bandwidth in bulk, in a move to lower the cost of subscription.

Currently, subscription costs make up 40 per cent of overall costs for service providers.

The 24 include Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Jaring Communications Sdn Bhd, TTdotCom Sdn Bhd and Packet One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd.

"The cost naturally should come down because more parties are involved, and less specific input to costing is affected to each company, therefore with the overall effect of the investment and the composite work that is ongoing, we expect to get in lower cost for the users," Rais said.

The consortium will also plan and manage international submarine cables for its members.

It is open to all Network Facility Service Provider and Network Service Provider licence holders.

Rais also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Veterinary Department, for the use of Radio Frequency Identification technology to come up with new standards for the tracking of birds' nest for the global market.

The system will enable the tracking of birds' nest from production until storage.

The system will help position Malaysia as the second largest producer of birds' nest, an industry that is estimated to be worth RM10.2 billion globally.

MCMC with the Ministry of Rural and Regional development will also cooperate in the supply of basic necessities such as water, electricity, roads, communications and broadband needs to 10 locations identified in Sarawak.

To date, some 24 per cent of work has been executed on nine projects announced under the Communications Content and Infrastructure programme.

Another 22 projects are in the pipeline.

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