Penang has classified fiber optic infrastructure as a mandatory utility for the public, making it the first state in Malaysia to do so. This means that the infrastructure is now considered an equivalent to water and electricity supply, thus enforcing its installation throughout the state in order to provide high-speed internet to citizens.
The state’s executive councillor for infrastructure and transport Zairil Khir Johari stated that EXCO (Penang State Executive Council) had decided developers are required to provide fiber optic infrastructure to any building or development scheme throughout the state. The order is effective immediately.
“The decision made by the state on Dec 17 is to support the use of high-speed broadband via fibre optic cables, given that the use of copper cables for internet connections have become no longer relevant,” said the councillor in a statement released today. “In ensuring all new development projects are equipped with fibre optic cables, it will enable us to proceed to the next step, which is to provide gigabit internet and hasten the process towards the faster 5G platform.”
Zairil added that the decision is also in line on achieving the Penang 2030 goal, which aims to provide comprehensive and high quality digital infrastructure to its citizens. This would ensure the state to meet the needs of the new norms and to support the growth of the digital economy, under Malaysia’s national digital infrastructure plan JENDELA.