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50% broadband penetration by the end of 2010 is a just a dream

Unless government provides free broadband to every household, no idiot will believe 50% goal can be achieved under the monopoly of TmNUT.

50 Per Cent Household Broadband Penetration Next Year

By Mohd Nasir Yusoff

NUSA DUA (Bali), Nov 12 (Bernama) — Realising the importance of information communication technology (ICT) in the delivery of services to the people, Malaysia will ensure its household broadband penetration rate goes up to 50 per cent next year.

Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said currently, Malaysia stood on the threshold of achieving 30 per cent household broadband penetration based on a six million household data base.

“With the introduction of the 1Malaysia concept by our prime minister, which champions ‘People First, Performance Now’, communications and ICT have become even more integral to the government, in the delivery of our services to the people.

“ICT will be the conduit by which the Malaysian Government ‘connects’ our people,” he said when addressing the two-day Asia-Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Strengthening Regional Collaboration towards Broadband Economy here today.

He said Malaysia was aware of the catalytic effect of communications and ICT in the delivery of services and in doing so, the country hoped to improve the people’s quality of lives.

Sharing Malaysia’s experience with his counterparts from the Asia and Pacific, Rais said Malaysia was making huge strides in the sphere of wireless broadband via the smart-phones.

“With mobile phone penetration standing at 100.8 per cent to date, we think the broadband access via the mobile is an established, real-time indicator that contributes to the achievement graph of Broadband reach-out,” he said.

He pointed out that at the same time, Malaysia made concerted efforts to reduce the cost of broadband, including mandating infrastructure sharing, since four years ago.

In 2006, its domestic trunk market was liberalised and as a result, 10 major providers were now operating in Malaysia, he said.

Rais said that in 2008, cable landing station licences were liberalised and 100 per cent foreign equity was permitted.

“In the context of a broadband economy and consumers, these strategies and efforts have translated into lowering the cost of broadband services to the consumers.

“However, this is still not enough. We need to do more and in this regard, we have instructed the regulator to review further, the prices for broadband services,” he added.

He was confident that in realising the aim towards a broadband economy, the strategies and plans put in place to promote broadband access were sufficient to see Malaysia through from the infrastructure standpoint.

“The next step is to encourage and promote broadband adoption. As such, our priority is to focus on the development of content,” he said, adding that towards that, Malaysia had ramped up its efforts in e-Government applications and had also introduced schemes and grants to promote the development of content.

— BERNAMA

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