KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia needs to expand and enhance its network infrastructure to be able to achieve its targets in 2020, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
He said the targets include 95 per cent broadband coverage in populated areas and 50 per cent of households in suburban and rural areas have access to broadband with speed of 20 megabits per second (Mbps).
In line with that, several projects have already been implemented including one project to expand High Speed Broadband (HSSB) coverage via the HSSB2 project in all capital cities and identified growth areas.
“It will cost a total of RM1.8 billion to deliver broadband speeds up to 100Mbps to an estimated 2.8 million households,” he said at the ministerial roundtable and dialogue session here, Thursday.
He added those network infrastructure projects would fuel the development of the local content and applications industry with many potential high bandwidth next generation applications.
In order to increase the bandwidth capacity between Sabah and Sarawak with Peninsular Malaysia, the government is building a domestic submarine cable system, which will see the deployment of 3,500kms worth of cable between 2015 and 2017.
Salleh said Malaysia was at 11 per cent in terms of household broadband penetration in 2006 as compared to 77.3 per cent in 2015 while mobile penetration had increased from 72.3 per cent in 2006 to 145 per cent today.
The International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) ICT Development Index last year shows the country had improved its ranking to 8th place from the 9th place in 2014 in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the reasons was due to high broadband subscription.
As part of its efforts to promote smart living in the cities, the ministry had taken many steps including the creation of Smart Communities in rural areas by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), he said sharing Malaysia’s achievement.
However, Salleh noted that as broadband adoption became more pervasive, there would certainly be risks to users such as security and social risks.
“Like all governments, we have a duty to safeguard our citizens, put measures in place for consumer protection and ensure that the country grows harmoniously.”
Thus, he reiterated the review of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 was not to block people’s views and opinions but more to address recent developments and pave way for a more facilitative regulatory approach that is relevant for the future. – BERNAMA