Gobind: Internet connectivity may be listed as a utility

Gobind Singh Deo

KUALA LUMPUR: The Communi­cations and Multimedia Ministry is in the process of proposing that Internet connectivity be listed as a utility, as in water and power supply.Its minister Gobind Singh Deo said the proposal was part of the effort to expand Internet connectivity access nationwide.

“I am in the process of proposing to the government that we can create a policy for Internet connectivity to become a utility, meaning it will be given the same emphasis as water and electricity.

“We must accept the fact that the world will progress with the help of the Internet. That’s why the government is taking proactive steps in ensuring Internet access is available to all Malaysians, regardless of where they are,’’ he said in a special interview at his office in Wisma Angkasapuri yesterday.

He said the proposal was discussed with Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kam­aruddin with the suggestion that buildings in new projects, be it residential or commercial, be equipped with Internet access.He also drew attention to efforts by his ministry to lower Internet service charges so that everyone could enjoy global-standard Inter­net speeds.He said there was no official Internet speed limit in the country to indicate an efficient Internet infrastructure, adding that “unofficially”, the speed was 30mbps.

“So, when we introduce new prices under the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), we’ll see the broadband price reducing.

“Prices have gone down in some cases, almost more than half. But on average among the four telcos, it has come down almost by 50%,” he said.Among the main objectives of the NFCP is to achieve a baseline of 98% broadband coverage in populated areas by 2023, with a minimum broadband speed of 30mbps so that 5G can be effectively implemented nationwide.

Gobind said Internet connectivity was part of his main focus to ensure that the infrastructure was enjoyed and fully utilised. — Bernama

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