Malaysian govt to bolster nation's digital infrastructure, says MCMC

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said the government is developing a plan to invest and further improve the country's digital infrastructure, to allow for greater availability of broadband services by promoting competition. This comes as Malaysia sees an increased sharing of infrastructure, including fibre broadband.

MCMC said digital infrastructure improvement is a "key focus" for the government, along with right-of-way issues that will continue to be discussed with state governments and local councils. It added that the availability of digital infrastructure is a key factor in accomplishing economic benefits and growth equally to all states, not just selected areas within Malaysia.

"Addressing these issues effectively would help in reducing the cost to deploy infrastructure and enable wider coverage of high-speed broadband," MCMC said.

According to MCMC, the government is also mulling actions such as liberalising activities in key strategic areas that lack competition, using all regulatory tools within its reach to ensure availability of world class infrastructure in the country. This is in a bid to build a strong and sustainable communications network that can contribute to Malaysia's economic development. Meanwhile, studies are also being undertaken to push for spectrum optimisation and 5G planning for 2019, MCMC said.

Malaysia is currently ranked first out of 61 countries by the Alliance for Affordable Internet due to the Malaysian government's policies supporting the expansion of public access, digital infrastructure and the adoption of smartphones, as well as having a transparent regulator.

In October, Maxis, TIME dotCom, Celcom and Telekom Malaysia rolled out new fixed line broadband packages, in response to the call by Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo to provide more affordable fixed broadband prices to citizens following the implementation of the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP). According to MCMC, the implementation of the MSAP has resulted in a reduction of more than 30% in entry-level package prices.

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