It’s not surprising that internet connectivity is better in urban areas than in their rural counterparts. But in addition to just a case of coverage, there are other reasons as to why this is the case. According to the Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin, these are theft and vandalism.
The minister says that hardware, both of copper and fibre-optic in nature, are dug up and stolen. This causes some rural areas that previously had internet connectivity to lose the connection abruptly. There are also cases where the generators that power the transmission towers suffer from vandalism, including the solar-powered ones.
As a potential solution, Zahidi says the ministry is looking into using new tech to solve this issue, and improve connectivity in rural areas. This is especially in Sabah and Sarawak.
He also said that at present, there are less than 20% of “red zones”, or areas with no internet connectivity, in non-urban areas. As of June this year, 2360 communication towers have been built, with 280 more under construction. Also, equipment at 5348 transmission towers have been upgraded to support 3G and 4G, with 11 more still in the process of being upgraded.
(Source: Parlimen Malaysia / YouTube)