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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        26  April 2011

Push to lower broadband costs in Malaysia

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A new consortium, Konsortium Rangkaian Serantau Sdn Bhd under the Entry Point Projects (EPPs), has been set up to buy international bandwidth for Internet traffic to lower the costs of Internet protocol (IP) transit in Malaysia, according to Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim.

The announcement confirmed an earlier report that a consortium was being set up to buy international bandwidth for Internet traffic in bulk in a bid to reduce IP transit cost..

The reduction of IP transit cost is part of the “extend the regional reach” initiative under the Economic Transformation Plan. IP transit cost is the cost service providers pay to carry Internet traffic around the world but because most sites are hosted in the United States, traffic volumes to the US are high.

The consortium comprises 24 members including Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), Time Dotcom Bhd, Maxis Bhd, Celcom Axiata Bhd, DiGi.Com Bhd, U Mobile Sdn Bhd, Green Packet, YTL Communications Sdn Bhd, RedTone International Bhd, OCE, Fibrerail Sdn Bhd, Jaring, Sacofa, Sarawak Information Systems, Fibrecomm Networks (M) Sdn Bhd, and V Telecoms.

Fiberail and Fibrecomm are subsidiaries of TM.

“The main objective in setting up the consortium is to lower the broadband subscription cost for users through cost savings as the subscription cost of international bandwidth capacity accounts for 40 percent of the total cost of providing broadband services.

“To achieve the cost savings, the consortium will buy the capacity in bulk as well as plan and manage the international submarine cable on behalf of its members,” Rais said at a briefing to announce three all-new EPPs under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) Communications Content and Infrastructure (CCI) yesterday.

The other two projects announced are the tracking and tracing of swiftlet nests using radio frequency identification technology and the enhancement of basic infrastructure in rural areas.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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