The Government wants to close the digital divide between the urban and rural areas in Malaysia, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
“The Ministry is always attentive and strives to fulfil the telecommuncation needs for the suburban communities with its continuous efforts to expand the High Speed BroadBand (HSBB) coverage in accordance with the Sub-Urban Broadband (SUBB) programme,” he said in reply to a question from Datuk Hasbullah Osman (BN-Gerik) at the Dewan Rakyat.
Gobind shared that up until March 2018, a total of 379,246 connections have been completed via SUBB with another 114,620 connections still in the implementation stages. He added that the initiative will provide broadband services with speeds up to 20Mbps in surburban areas throughout the country.
The minister added that under the Inisiatif Peluasan Liputan Selular dan Jalur Lebar Mudah Alih (cellular and mobile broadband expansion initiative), which involves construction of new telecommunication towers as well as upgrades of existing ones, a total of 1,749 towers are currently in service. He added that another 286 towers are in the implementation stages nationwide, especially in the suburban areas.
A total of 4,700 existing telecommunication towers have been upgraded to provide 3G/4G services, while another 865 towers are still undergoing the upgrading process in the country.
Additionally, under the Inisiatif Peluasan Jalur Lebar Talian Tetap (fixed broadband expansion initiative), 424 ibusawat (exchange) are currently being upgraded to provide fixed broadband to suburban and rural areas across the country. The upgrade will happen in stages and is expected to complete at the end of 2019.
“The Government is committed to continuously expand the broadband coverage area nationwide in order to close the digital gap between the urban and rural areas,” he said.