Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum said the paid services provided by Astro was not basic communications service but rather a choice made by subscribers to have more channels.
“Currently, the minimum amount charged by Astro for a basic package comprising 26 channels is still competitive at RM37.95.
“It is a common practice by most of the service providers throughout the world to offer packages based on the demand and requirement of clients,” said Joseph Salang when answering a question by Mohd Nor Othman (BN-Hulu Terengganu).
Mohd Nor had wanted to know what steps were being taken by the ministry to reduce the monopoly of private television stations in the country and the action taken by the ministry to monitor the rates charged by them for packages offered, since it was becoming a burden to the people.
Joseph Salang said packages offered by private broadcast stations are aimed at providing various programmes for their clients to pick.
He said Astro offered 13 packages in various languages featuring rates ranging from RM37.95 to RM179.75, including video-on-demand and three Premium packages. — Bernama