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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Improving the internet service while keeping costs low

Salleh Said Keruak

I have asked my Ministry to put special emphasis and to focus on infrastructure development to expand the Internet penetration and coverage all over Malaysia.  The government is working to upgrade Internet access for more people in the rural areas and not just in the urban area.

We are not only concerned over the issue of Internet speed, which has become an issue of debate of late, but also its affordability.  And off course, apart from that, we are also looking at the issue of coverage to ensure that more people get access to the Internet.

We do not want the Internet to be enjoyed only by people in the urban areas such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang but also by the communities in the interior and the islands of Sabah and Sarawak as well.  As I had said last month, we want to ensure that by 2020 at least 95% of Malaysians will have access to the Internet and that at least 50% of the urban areas and 20% of the rural areas have broadband speeds of 100 Mbps.

The entry-level package for fixed broadband offered by Telekom Malaysia starts at 386 kbps, which is what 71% of Malaysians subscribe to.  Although higher speed packages are available, such as that offered by HSBB, 87% of the subscribers opt for 5Mps package with hardly any takers for the higher speed packages of 30 and 50MPS

Once the infrastructure can cope with it we may consider changing the entry-level package to a higher speed without any substantial increase in cost to maintain affordability and at the same time offer a higher speed.  My Ministry is now looking into the details.

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