KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 – The roll-out of a new broadband and wireless infrastructure, once completed, will enable Malaysia to be fully digital with ubiquitous access to connectivity, according to Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
He said the initiative would future-proof Malaysia’s growing economy and ensure that it would reach its full potential in delivering economic benefits due to universal access to high-speed broadband.
“These benefits have been proven in markets around the world and include a step-change growth in gross domestic product, higher employment, better education, health and other public services for the ‘rakyat’ (people),” he said in a statement yesterday.
Salleh said the new infrastructure was planned to serve the government’s objective, namely to ensure the availability of high-speed fixed broadband internet services at “twice the speed and half the price” nationwide with the announcement of the Nationwide Fiberisation Plan in March this year.
“The government is positive that a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement will be the best mechanism to materialise the government’s aspirations for the expansion of the Malaysian Digital Economy.
“This (PPP) will support other government’s initiatives such as the Digital Free Trade Zone, recently opened in collaboration with China’s Alibaba Group.
“The partnership arrangement is also targeted at bridging the digital divide between the urban and rural dwellers in Malaysia and to increase the participation of people in the rural areas, such as those in the Felda settlements, in the digital economy,” he said.
Salleh said Broadnet Network Sdn Bhd (Broadnet) had been appointed to construct a high-speed broadband infrastructure to meet latent demand by connecting homes and businesses in the underserved and unserved markets in the suburban and rural areas.
He said the government, through the Finance Ministry, would hold a golden share in Broadnet headed by the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa as its chairman.
“As the designated wholesale service provider, Broadnet will complement existing retail players to deliver the full range of value-creating digital services that can be accessed via the internet to ensure the market may enjoy all benefits of the digital economy, realising the government’s ambition for the digital economy’s contribution to the country’s GDP to reach 20% by 2020,” Salleh added. — Bernama