Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Maleeh Jamaal, on Wednesday, announced that attempts were underway to bring more submarine cables to Maldives to reduce the price of internet services.
He made this statement at a virtual roundtable meeting with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and Vietnam's Information Ministry.
Noting that the state was trying to foster other areas in order to reduce the island nation's dependency on the tourism sector, Minister Maleeh declared that those working in such areas would require Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) services.
"The ministry will provide its full cooperation to provide ICT services in order to best carry out economic and social activities", he said.
According to the minister, one of the most notable lessons learned during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was the importance of internet services for the masses.
At a time where social distancing is necessary, he noted that the internet is playing a major role in maintaining connections between people.
He added that the state worked tirelessly alongside service providers to ensure that Maldivians received uninterrupted internet services during the lockdown period.
The public's calls for affordable and reliable internet services grew louder amidst the pandemic, as the repercussions of the virus outbreak forced people to work and study from home. Complaints were raised that the internet services available in Maldives are overpriced and subpar at best.
Minister Maleeh has received backlash on several occasions for the delay in the reduction of internet prices, as President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration nears the two-year mark of the first term. Providing better internet services at a lower cost was one of the electoral pledges of the Solih government.