Minister Gobind wants Internet connectivity to be listed as utility

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry is in the process of proposing that Internet connectivity be listed as utility, just like water and electricity supplies.

Its Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the proposal was among efforts to expand Internet connectivity access nationwide.

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

“We must accept the fact that the world will progress with the help of Internet, that’s why the Government is taking active and proactive steps in ensuring Internet access is available to all Malaysians, regardless of where they are.

“So, in the future, we need not view the construction as having connectivity problems, where we have to see the fibre optic telco contractors, which will be time-consuming and costly…so we wish to overcome this problem, which will be an achievement for my ministry. We understand and accept the importance of this connectivity,” he said in a special interview in conjunction with the one-year anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan government administration at his office in Wisma Angkasapuri today.

According to Gobind, the proposal had been discussed with the Minister of Housing and Local Government (Zuraida Kamaruddin), and there were suggestions to ensure all buildings in new development projects, be it residential or office, be equipped with Internet access.

Meanwhile, Gobind also drew attention to efforts by his Ministry to lower the Internet service charges so that everyone would have similar access to world technology with global-standard Internet speed and benefit various sectors, like agriculture, farming, medical, transport and e-commerce projects.

“In Malaysia, there is no official Internet speed limit for the people that we can say that we have successfully created a good infrastructure. Unofficially, we have 30 mps, and at the time, we set it, how do we reach that level and at the same time reduce the cost of broadband.

“So, when we introduce new prices under the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), we’ll see that the broadband price reducing. Prices have gone down in some cases, almost more than half. But on average among four telcos, it has come down almost at 50 percent,” he said.

Among the main objectives of the NFCP existence is to achieve a baseline of 98 percent broadband coverage in inhabited areas by 2023, with a minimum broadband speed of 30 mbps so that 5G can be effectively implemented nationwide, especially in remote areas.

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