Rais: 3% more broadband penetration to reach target

(Bernama) – Only three per cent more is needed to reach the targeted 60 per cent broadband penetration in the country’s urban areas by the year end.

Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the penetration currently was at 57.4 percent.

“If we really want to evaluate the broadband service, we need to activate the community broadband centers which had been launched. They will be our communication hubs or centres for the districts,” he said after launching the “Kampung WiFi” in Kampung Merlimau Pasir, near here, today.

He said the broadband penetration rate in Melaka state had, however, reached 60 percent.

Rais said the government was considering various other measures, including the use of fiber optics, to increase broadband penetration nationwide.

He said besides supplying fiber optics to the rural areas, the government also intended to expand its use to remote villages after considering the overall cost.

“Although there is no fire optic service to the villages at present, we believe that with efforts undertaken by the MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) through Kampung WiFi, broadband penetration in the remote or interior areas can be fully achieved by the year end.”

He said 1,000 Kampung WiFi would be launched nationwide by the year end, with 100 of them in Melaka.

He added that the project was estimated to cost RM25,000 to RM30,000 each, depending on its distance from the town centre or community centre equipped with Internet wireless facility.

Rais hoped the public would be patient if they faced the problem of slow Internet connection in the WiFi villages.

“The Kampung WiFi broadband facility gives minimum benefit; it’s not very fast. We think the speed is around 4 megabytes per second in Merlimau Pasir. If there are many users, it will be slow. This is normal.

“But with this increasingly sophisticated industry, this problem will eventually be overcome.”

Rais also hoped that broadband use in schools would be monitored to prevent misuse of the facility which could lead to undesirable activities.

Also present were Rais’s wife Datin Seri Masnah Rais, the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Kamaruddin Siaraf and MCMC chairman Tan Sri Khalid Ramli.