Infrastructure Report: Bridging the digital divide

The government plans to expand high-speed broadband (HSBB) coverage mainly in urban areas with Internet speed of up to 100 megabits per second, benefiting 2.8 million households. — AFP pic
The government plans to expand high-speed broadband (HSBB) coverage mainly in urban areas with Internet speed of up to 100 megabits per second, benefiting 2.8 million households. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — In a move to further bridge the digital divide, the government has stepped up efforts to provide broadband connectivity across urban, suburban and rural areas.

According to the Economic Report 2014/2015 released today, the average national broadband penetration rate recorded 67.2 per cent, with Kuala Lumpur registering the highest rate at 115.7 per cent.

The government plans to expand high-speed broadband (HSBB) coverage mainly in urban areas with Internet speed of up to 100 megabits per second, benefiting 2.8 million households.

The public-private partnership project is expected to increase the average national broadband household penetration rate to 75 per cent by end-2015.

Household broadband penetration rates in Sabah and Sarawak were 52.8 per cent and 53.4 per cent respectively.

“Efforts have thus been undertaken to build new underwater cables linking Peninsular Malaysia with Sarawak and Sabah within three years so as to improve connectivity, reliability and affordability of Internet access in these states,” it said.

The report said the communication subsector grew 10 per cent during the first half of 2014 compared to 9.4 per cent in the same period of last year, with continued increase in the number of cellular phone subscribers as well as higher use of data services.

Cellular phone subscription grew 2.8 per cent to 43.8 million to reach a penetration rate of 145.5 per cent as at end-June 2014 with the prepaid segment dominating 82 per cent of total subscriptions.

In addition, higher usage of data services was supported by increased third-generation (3G) subscriptions which recorded 18 million users in 2013 compared to 14.5 million in 2012.

To enable the rural communities to enjoy the benefits of information and communication technology (ICT), 4,737 1Malaysia Wireless Villages (KTW1M) and 431 1Malaysia Internet Centres (PI1M) were established nationwide as at the end of June 2014. — Bernama

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