Budget 2023: RM8 billion to achieve 100% internet coverage in populated areas by 2025

08 Oct 2022 - Soya Cincau

The JENDELA programme which aims at bridging the digital divide in Malaysia was also mentioned during the tabling of Budget 2023. Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul said JENDELA Phase 2 will involve an investment of RM8 billion which include funds from the industry players.

JENDELA Phase 2 is aimed at improving connectivity with 100% population coverage and to increase fiber broadband access to 9 million fibre passed premises by 2025. In addition, the JENDELA programme will also be provided with RM700 million to improve digital connectivity in 47 industrial areas and almost 3,700 schools nationwide.

JENDELA Phase 1 is coming to an end at the end of this year and it is currently on track to achieve its targets. Launched in August 2020 by former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, JENDELA is aimed at improving broadband connectivity and to shutdown 3G network to free up spectrum for 4G use.

Under Phase 1, the government aims to increase 4G population coverage from 91.8% to 96.9%, and to boost average download speeds from 25Mbps to 35Mbps. According to the last JENDELA report, Malaysia has achieved 95.82% 4G population coverage and an average of 47.04Mbps (mean) download speeds as of Q2 2022. Phase 2 of JENDELA aims to improve average mobile broadband speeds to 100Mbps (mean).

When it comes to fibre, JENDELA aims to increase the number of fibre-passed premises from 4.96 million to 7.5 million. As of 30th June, 7.2 million premises have been passed with fibre.

Digital Nasional Berhad, which is supposed to be a fully funded by the private sector was also mentioned during the tabling of Budget 2023. Tengku Zafrul said DNB will be spending RM1.3 billion next year to increase 5G population coverage to 70%. At the moment, DNB’s 5G network covers 33% of populated areas which include the Klang Valley and selected areas of Kelantan, Perak, Penang and Johor. The single wholesale network also revealed yesterday that Celcom, Digi, Telekom Malaysia and YTL Communications have signed the equity deal with DNB which an accumulative stake of 65%. The government through the Ministry of Finance shall hold a 35% stake and a golden share.


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