FMT - After water and electricity, internet now a public utility
03 Jun 2021 - Free Malaysia Today
PETALING JAYA: Internet connectivity has been acknowledged by the government as the third public utility after water and electricity, said communications and multimedia minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
This will pave the way for better connectivity nationwide, he said.
Saifuddin said a major problem faced by agencies under the ministry namely, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), and telecommunication companies was the delay in approvals from local authorities for the provision of telecommunication infrastructure.
“Usually, developers will prepare their plans for two utilities, namely water and electricity. It is not necessary to provide planning on internet connectivity, because connectivity is not regarded as a utility.
“Therefore, planning for internet connectivity only begins after the development has been completed. This is the main factor why digital infrastructure work takes too long to complete.
“With its recognition as a public utility, the approval process and the construction of telecommunications infrastructure can be sped up,” he said in a virtual press conference today.
He added that this would also allow consumers to enjoy faster communication services and a higher broadband capacity, especially in rural areas where the broadband penetration rate is considered low.
The proposal on the matter was first submitted and discussed during the national physical planning council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin last year.