Malaysia stagnant in broadband affordability, even as some regional neighbours improve

The status of broadband internet packages affordability in Malaysia remained unchanged from last year. — Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com
The status of broadband internet packages affordability in Malaysia remained unchanged from last year. — Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — The status of broadband internet packages affordability in Malaysia remained unchanged from last year, even as neighbouring countries in the regions experience varying changes to their rankings.

The Worldwide Broadband Price Comparison for 2018 conducted by analytical company Cable.co.uk revealed that Thailand ranks as the first in the Asean region with the cheapest broadband packages, followed by Myanmar and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Laos has the most expensive broadband package prices in the region. This was followed by Brunei and Vietnam.

At the 76th place globally, Malaysians pay on average US$47.92 (RM199.47) per month for broadband. In contrast, Thailand was placed 29th at US$25.58 (RM106.48) monthly.

The biggest winners this year have been Myanmar and Indonesia, at global ranks of 57th (US$37.56 or RM156.34) and 92nd (US$54.85 or RM228.31) places respectively. Both had ranked 131st and 126th places respectively last year.

Bruneians have to fork out an average of US$123.29 or RM513.19 per month for broadband packages, and Laotians must pay a whopping US$239.25 or RM995.88 per month for broadband packages.

However, Brunei has moved 20 spots upwards from 193rd place last year to 173rd this year, while Laos remains unchanged.

The remainder of the Asean countries have seen their affordability rankings take a dip this year compared to last. Singapore has dropped from 59th to 78th place this year, where broadband packages cost an average of US$50.43 (RM209.91) per month.

However the study also notes that it has the best value in the world at US$0.03 (RM0.12) per megabit.

The Philippines went down three places from 85th to 88th place, at US$53.14 (RM221.20) a month, while Cambodia went from 89th to 108th at US$62.29 (RM259.28), and Vietnam from 106th to 124th at US$69.63 (RM289.83).

Globally the study indicated that several of the most expensive countries for broadband packages are situated in Asean (Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei, and Laos) whereas in the greater Asian continent Sri Lanka, Iran, Nepal and Mongolia are ranked among the top 20 cheapest countries for broadband packages.

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