TM cancels high-speed internet expansion plan in Malaysia

by Sammy Chan
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Having initially signed a Memorandum of Agreement on January 16, 2018, both Telekom Malaysia Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd have decided to put a stop to their plans of bringing high-speed internet expansion in Malaysia. Their ambition to connect every household in the country including rural areas were put to a halt due to the extremely costly nature of the project. Connecting every household would cost around MYR 10 billion. Plus, turns out connecting rural areas seems to be the biggest issue here. So what does this mean for existing users?

Are we still getting that turbo upgrade?

When they say cancellation, they literally meant expansion. Basically, existing customers have nothing to worry about. unifi turbo will continue to roll out from August 15 onwards. However, do proceed to their official website to check if the upgrade is included in the coverage of your service. If it is, you should receive an e-mail notifying you of the incoming upgrade that looks like this:

Image via unifi

What TM simply means is that they will not be expanding their service nationwide. Basically rural areas who are still without coverage will very likely stay that way for a while. According to TM, such ambition requires the cooperation of all sides. This includes the government and all linked companies in terms of reach, infrastructure, and expertise. The lack of resources has ultimately led to this decision. TM and TNB will discontinue the Nationwide Fiberisation Plan (NFP).

Future plans for the nation

With TM canceling high-speed internet expansion in Malaysia indefinitely, what can Malaysians expect in the future? The current problem we face right now is the lack of competition. Sure, we have TIME and Maxis Fibre Broadband. But, their coverage is extremely scarce outside of Kuala Lumpur itself. TIME, in particular, is even more limited in comparison to Maxis. Despite their better-priced packages offering better speed, most people still end up using unifi due to availability. TM is at a really comfortable place right now and there is no urgency for further improvement.
Guess we could say that TIME congratulated them a little too early.

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