Saturday, October 30, 2010

Malaysia's Broadband Penetration: Net effort hits 50pc mark

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia's broadband penetration has exceeded the targeted 50 per cent by year's end with the next goal being 75 per cent by 2015.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that it had crossed the 53 per cent mark as of the middle of the month after being just at 22 per cent in 2008.

The penetration rate for cellular phones had exceeded 31 million, marking a 108 per cent penetration rate.

Muhyiddin said the country's high cellular usage had contributed more than 60 per cent to the communications and multimedia industry's revenue.

Speaking to reporters after chairing the cabinet committee meeting on broadband, Muhyiddin said various programmes involving broadband were carried out on the basis of demand and supply under the National Broadband Initiative.

He said more broadband community centres, including Kampung WiFi, would be built as part of efforts to expand penetration in the rural areas.

To date, six pilot Kampung WiFi projects had been carried out with 3,100 more to be set up nationwide by 2014.

"In efforts to bridge the digital gap between the urban and rural areas, including Sabah and Sarawak, we have started the distribution of one million netbooks and broadband packages to students and low-income earners in the country.

"From July, some 100,000 netbooks had been given out," he said, adding that intensive awareness campaign on broadband would be carried out until the year's end.

The locally-manufactured netbooks, costing around RM1,000 each, are equipped with broadband subscriptions.

Muhyiddin said the cabinet committee would also monitor the Communications and Content Infrastructure (CCI) in efforts to become a high-income nation.

As a start, he said, 10 projects had been identified to expand the economy under the CCI.

These projects, ranging from content generation to networks as well as services and equipment, are expected to provide some 43,000 job opportunities.

It will also contribute more than US$15.1 billion (RM52.8 billion) to the country's gross domestic product.

"The government is optimistic that this sector, which serves as an enabler, will change the way people live.

"Doing business, learning, working, banking, shopping and enjoying entertainment will be different," he said.

Also present were Information, Communications, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, his deputy, Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman Tan Sri Khalid Ramli.

*Taken from NST Online

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