Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) has appealed to the government to delay and revise the implementation of the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP), which will force the government-linked company (GLC) to slash its fixed broadband prices.
Such reductions in charges to users will further deteriorate the company’s earnings, which have been under pressure for the past few quarters.
According to people with knowledge of the matter, an official appeal has been made to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to revoke the MSAP implementation, which has been backdated to January 2018.
The MSAP was announced last month as the government seeks to make broadband access cheaper, as promised by the Pakatan Harapan government. The MoF is expected to discuss the appeal.
“TM has appealed, saying if they implement the MSAP, it will hurt their earnings,” sources told The Malaysian Reserve.
The appeal, if accepted, would be the escape route to delay the implementation of MSAP beginning June 8, as announced by Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo last month. He said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had implemented the MSAP since June 8, which would result in reductions in fixed broadband prices.The MSAP stipulates the ceiling wholesale prices that can be charged by service providers for the facilities and services used by retail telco players. It was slated for enforcement on Jan 1, 2018, but was placed on hold after an earlier appeal by TM to revise some of the pricing components.
MCMC had stipulated July 31 as the extended deadline to complete all access agreements based on the new MSAP prices. The access agreement has to be compliant with MCMC’s Mandatory Standards on Access (MSA) and MSAP.
The telcos, however, have yet to receive any access agreement to-date from TM that is compliant with the MSA and MSAP.
“As a result of this delay and thinking that TM needs more time to draft new agreements, the deadline has been extended until the end of August.
“At this crucial juncture, TM has written to the government to halt the MSAP implementation,” the sources said.