Work underway to lower internet prices - Minister Maleeh

Minister of Science and Technology Ahmed Maleeh Jamaal has hinted that the government may give opportunity to new companies to provide affordable internet services in the Maldives.

Maleeh on Sunday said in a statement that while internet services are currently provided in the Maldives by two telecom giants Dhiraagu and Ooredoo, and a small company Raajje Online, the government will not hesitate to bring in new competitive companies to bring about the changes envisioned by the government.

“The reality we have to accept is that internet is being provided by two big companies and another small company. If we have to give opportunity for new competition to enter the arena in order to steer the sector in the direction the government desires, we will not hesitate to do this”, said the Minister.

The government is currently undertaking efforts to lower the cost of internet, and are in liaison with the Communications Authority and Dhiraagu, Ooredoo and ROL to achieve this.

The Minister further said the discussions are in its final stages, with the government having made proposals based on findings from research.

“The study was conducted in about 26 countries around the world. The study report has identified that the price of internet in the Maldives is considerably higher when compared to other countries. The discussions focused on finding a middle ground that is agreeable to both parties”, he added.

The Minister revealed that the government is considering the requirements needed by the Maldivian people in lowering the internet prices, while also considering how the country’s economy can be expanded, in addition to finding ease for small and medium enterprises.

The Minister expressed his hope that the internet service providers will cooperate with the government in lowering prices, and assured that the internet prices would see a positive change in the near future.