Govt directs SKMM to investigate high cost of IT services


CYBERJAYA: The Government has directed the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (SKMM) to study the reasons behind the high cost of providing Information Technology (IT) services in the country.

Information, Communications, Culture and Arts Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said there were numerous complaints on how expensive it was to obtain IT services here, while the quality — particularly connection availability and speed — was not up to expectation.

“The Government would also like to know why the cost for IT services is high in Malaysia. Consumers’ main grouse is that they are charged more compared with users in other countries but the quality of service is not up to mark.

“We want to know how it (the cost) can be brought down and at the same time improve on the quality,” he told reporters after a briefing at the SKMM on Wednesday.

Rais said SKMM must also see to it that providers deliver what they promised consumers, adding that if a provider promised Internet surfing speeds of 10Mb (megabits) per second, the public should not be experiencing a “slow as tortoise service at one or two megabits.”

He said providers whose services failed to meet expectation must be dealt with, adding this was where the Commission, as the enforcement authority, should play its role to ensure the public was not shortchaged,

Rais said efforts must be taken to close the digital gap between rural and urban areas, adding that fixed telephone line providers must expedite the laying of optical fibre cables so that people in districts and kampungs (villages) could also enjoy Internet service.

On another matter, the minister said 11 cases related to violations committed in cyberspace had been to court, adding the nature of cases included sending lewd and vulgar SMSes and e-mail, and comments insulting the Sultan of Perak.

He said there were a “good number of cases” that had been brought to the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Commission would leave it to the A-G to decide whether or not prosecute the offenders.

Rais reminded the Commission of its responsibility to ensure that all cyberspace users in the country follow laws and regulations, adding it should not hesitate to take action against violators.

“I must however stress that we are not practising censorship but there are laws that need to be respected and adhered to.

“The public’s interest and safety, as well as the country’s security, need to be looked after and that is why the Commission must do its job to see to it that users follow guidelines,” he said.

Source : TheStar

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