The government's move to introduce cheaper internet prices through the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) is set to benefit everyone according to their respective needs.
For students and traders in particular, having Internet access is considered crucial.
Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student and Alumni Affairs) Prof Dr Ahmad Martadha Mohamed described the initiative as helping students to attend online classes, conduct research and submit assignments without worry.
He said that although the university provided access points for Internet use, it wasn’t sufficient to provide optimal access for everyone.
"We do try to provide comprehensive Internet access to students but in a situation that requires many access points, it involves high costs.
"In the context of UUM, we have almost 20,000 students on campus, and at any one time, for example at night when all the students are in the dormitory, there is bound to be Internet disruption," he told Bernama.
Ahmad Martadha said that the cheaper Internet price was considered a win-win situation for students using the service while the university was also able to provide more comprehensive access.
At the same time, he said cheaper prices also helped reduce the burden on students, especially those from B40 families.
On Monday, Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil was reported to have said that Internet prices were expected to become cheaper by this September when the new MSAP would be used.
According to Fahmi, the MSAP would see the wholesale prices of Internet access reduced, while a new policy 'where there’s a road, there’s the Internet' would be introduced to ensure wider coverage for the people.
Meanwhile, Federal Territory Malay Hawkers and Petty Traders Association secretary-general Sharin Darus said the government's initiative could help small-scale traders promote their products more actively and subsequently increase their earnings.
"There are newcomers to the business field who need enough Internet data to attract people and get to know their products on social media and one of the problems they often face is data constraints.
"Through a policy that introduces cheaper Internet, it will allow traders to actively sell goods online and facilitate buying and selling through money transfer methods without having to worry about running out of data," he said.
Sharin, who has also been running a ‘bundle business’ at Chow Kit for almost 20 years, said he needs the Internet to ensure the security of his shop through 24-hour closed circuit camera (CCTV) monitoring.
Eyzrine Norsofea Tajodin, a management programme trainer at a private company, also supports the government's efforts to introduce cheaper Internet prices as a lot of her tasks are done online.
In addition to interacting with training participants, she also uses the Internet to participate in meetings with strategic partners and prepare marketing materials such as infographics and videos.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency