Maleeh’s proposal had no mention of internet speed: Minister Shauna

Newly appointed Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology Aminath Shauna | Photo: President's Office

Malé, Maldives – Climate Change and Technology Minister Aminath Shauna has said that the proposal regarding internet prices presented to the parliament by former communication Minister, Maleeh Jamal did not mention anything about internet speed.

Shauna made the a statement following comments from Maleeh saying that the biggest obstacle in reducing internet charges was Minister Shauna.

Speaking on a programme of PSM last night, Minister Shauna who previously filled the post of the President’s Office’s Secretary said that an employee of the President Office would never become an obstacle in the way of implementing policy. She noted that the policy office works very closely with all the ministries.

She also said that she does not know why Maleeh said that she was an obstructing the policy and that having differential thoughts was not obstruction. She also said that the former proposal presented by the Minister was not approved as it included only one thing. That was decreasing the price between 6 percent and 20 percent. She said that merely reducing the speed was not their only target and that they were trying to increase the quality of service as well changing the minimum throttling speed.

Minister Shauna further said that she was trying to achieve these goals when working with the former minister as well. She noted that removing MVR 100 or MVR 50 of the bill was not decreasing internet prices and that the citizens would never accept it.

This comes while the government has announced reduced internet packages for residential broadband starting from 1 July 2021 and mobile data starting from 1 October 2021.

The government has reduced residential internet prices to, 

  • 30GB at the speed of 5MBPS for MVR 250 
  • 100GB at the speed of 15MBPS for MVR 500 
  • 200GB at the speed of 25MBPS for MVR 700

The throttle speeds for residential broadband cannot be lower than 2Mbps in the Maldives. In addition, for packages above MVR 300, the throttle speed is not to decrease below 5Mbps. 

Residential internet package prices are to decrease by 28 to 30 percent starting July 1 while mobile data changes are set go into effect from October 1, 2021.

Reducing the price of internet was one of the most important vows made by the President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih when he came into power.

Referring to this, Minister Shauna said that today marks a milestone after much effort and discussion to fulfil President Solih’s vow to reduce internet prices. She also thanked the tech industry for their feedback in bringing the changes.