Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. Image from BERNAMA.
Kuala Lumpur (UNA-OIC) – The outcome of the discussion on the implementation of the National Digital Infrastructure Workshop (Makmal) is expected to be released in mid-August.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah noted that the workshop from July 13 to August 14, was in collaboration with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), telecommunication industry players and related agencies to reset targets related to the development of the country’s digital infrastructure.
“We must have government intervention between MCMC and the telecommunication companies. This is what we are discussing with the telecommunication companies so that we can see whatever the provisions the Universal Service Provision (USP) restructured in order to reach remote areas.
“I expect by mid-August, we can share the results of negotiations between MCMC and the telecommunication companies,” he told a question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat, on Tuesday.
He was replying to a supplementary question raised by Datuk Mohd Salim Sharif (BN-Jempol) on the issue of payment rates that need to be paid by rural users to get internet access that does not commensurate with the quality received.
To the original question from Mohd Salim, who wanted to know the government’s plan to improve the quality of Internet service in rural areas, Saifuddin said the government had taken the initiative to provide public cellular services.
He said the initiative would involve the construction of new communication towers and upgrading of communication transmitters in existing towers to 3G and 4G services nationwide, especially in rural and remote areas.
“As many as 2,332 communication towers have been completed and 303 towers are in the implementation stage nationwide. Meanwhile, 5,332 communication transmitters in existing communication towers have been upgraded to 3G and 4G services and 24 communication transmitters are still in the implementation stage nationwide,” he said.
Saifuddin said for Sarawak, the government is holding a planning session with industry players and Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) to strengthen the quality and coverage of services throughout the area in the ‘Land of the Hornbills’ (Bumi Kenyalang).
“A total of 31 new communication towers are being built in Sarawak and are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021,” he said.