The Malaysian Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Salleh Said Keruak, said in a blog post recently that MCMC’s top priority is to further increase the availability of Internet services to more Malaysians, especially in rural areas. The main aim is to have 95% Internet penetration by the year 2020. Currently, the Internet penetration rate in Malaysia is about 72.2%.
It’s generally known that Malaysians utilise the Internet extensively. This is further confirmed by a report from SOTI (State of the Internet), which mentioned that Malaysians are amongst the most connected people globally. Unfortunately, although Malaysia boasts a great amount of connectivity, the lack of high speed Internet and overall accessibility in certain areas remain a concern.
Datuk Salleh Said Keruak mentioned that the government requested MCMC to aim for an Internet coverage rate of 95% by the year 2020. In addition to that, 55% will include high speed Internet. According to the very same minister, the target is achievable, provided that the ministry is backed with a suitable budget and more importantly, proper planning. Interestingly, it was reported earlier that Malaysia currently ranks 73rd in terms of Internet speed, which is unfortunately below the world average.
With only five years – technically, almost four years – to go to achieve the set target, Datuk Salleh mentioned that MCMC would also need to gather investments in a new state-of-the-art technology. The minister further elaborated on the importance of not only widening Malaysia’s Internet coverage, but to also include affordability inside MCMC’s plans. There has been a plethora of complaints by Malaysians regarding costly Internet prices, so it’s good to see that the government is taking notice and coming up with plans to resolve the issue.
The final words in the minister’s recent blog post stated that MCMC’s officers are currently mapping out final details and plans to be submitted to the minister himself for approval. Datuk Salleh stressed that the goal must be achieved not beyond the year 2020, and the ministry is determined to reach the goal promptly.