Malaysians Are Happy With Their Home Broadband; One In Six Still Overpaying
According to the iMoney 2019 Broadband Survey, most Malaysians are feeling the positive impact of the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) implemented by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) which came into effect in June 2018.
As a result, Malaysians are happy with their internet service providers for the most part. Over 66% rated themselves satisfied or better with the quality of their internet service. TIME Fibre saw the greatest percentage of happy customers with 93% saying they were satisfied with the service.
TM UniFi also saw mostly happy customers with 63% of respondents satisfied with their service. This number is substantial as a majority (42%) of the respondents reported themselves to be subscribed to the internet service provider.
However, despite the resulting reduction in broadband prices by over 30% and the tenfold increase in the speed of the packages offered, one in six Malaysians are still paying more than what they should be paying, for their broadband package.
As it currently stands, the greater Klang Valley offers the greatest variety of ISPs in Malaysia. On the whole, a 100Mbps connection costs between RM99 and RM129 per month. Depending on the provider available in the selected area.
However, the iMoney Broadband Survey revealed that 17% of respondents are still paying more than that amount for far slower connections. Astoundingly, some reported paying RM200 per month for 30Mbps home broadband lines.
Major fibre broadband providers in Malaysia no longer charge more than RM100 for a 30Mbps plan, which indicates that these respondents are likely still on their legacy plans, and not yet been upgraded by their providers.
TM UniFi was the first provider to announce an upgrade path for customers under the UniFi Turbo campaign. Under this, existing users would receive boosted internet speeds at no extra cost. This upgrade has been rolling out in stages since the middle of last year, although TM has not provided any information on its progress.
Similarly, TIME Fibre automatically upgraded its customers when it released a new pricing structure under the MSAP.
According to our survey, despite being increasingly satisfied with the speed and stability of their broadband packages, 67% of respondents felt that broadband rates can be even more affordable. This could possibly indicate that Malaysians might be overpaying because of a general lack of awareness of the latest broadband rates.
Additionally, 82% of the respondents shared that they would switch their current package for one that offers more value for money. Reinforcing this point is that 66% of respondents are on 100Mbps plans; despite there being much greater internet speeds available. It would appear that there is a minimum necessary speed for a majority of Malaysians, and anything faster becomes a much more niche product.
Where do we go?
With home broadband pricing and speed getting increasingly competitive, this is the best time for Malaysians to regularly review their broadband plans to find one that fits their usage. Our internal data has shown that those who switched their plans saved an average of 28% on their internet bills (for 30Mbps and 100Mbps packages).
“Through our iMoney 2019 Broadband Survey, we can clearly see that MCMC’s efforts of implementing and enforcing the MSAP have been beneficial for consumers. The proactive steps taken by key players in the broadband industry have resulted in 66% of Malaysians surveyed being increasingly satisfied with the speed and stability of their broadband connection. However, there is still more to do to ensure all Malaysians can benefit from MCMC’s efforts. The next step is for all Malaysians to assess their broadband needs and take advantage of broadband packages currently available, to ensure they are getting better value for their money,” said Mitul Lakhani, Group Chief Executive Officer of the iMoney Group.
“In order to help consumers make intelligent decisions on their broadband packages, we provide a full and free end-to-end concierge service for consumers. With our Broadband Smartsearch tool, they are able to browse and select the best value-for-money plan based on their usage and location, sign up for the plan and, finally, have our iMoney team assist in fixing the date for the installation of the broadband in their homes. In line with our vision of empowering consumers to make intelligent decisions on money matters, we are here to help consumers make sure they are getting the best broadband package available out there,” he added.
Out of those who expressed interest in signing up for a broadband package via iMoney in the last quarter of 2018, 32% were unable to do so due to the lack of coverage in their location. Of those that did have the necessary coverage, more than half (53%) of the applicants were not able to access the broadband package of their choice due to technical issues such as insufficient port allocations.
We at iMoney are doing our best to help Malaysians discover the most suitable plan for their internet usage. However, there also needs to be a greater concentrated effort to expand the availability of high speed broadband.
There is more good news on the horizon as well. An influx of new home fibre providers have appeared over the last six months. A sign that things are set to improve and the issues that have plagued Malaysian the broadband market are being taken seriously.