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Malaysia Budget 2014: ICT industry reactions

AvantiKumar | Oct. 28, 2013
[UPDATED] Malaysia's ICT industry leaders generally welcome the proposals to ramp up internet connectivity and foster human talent as well as encourage overall 'resilient economic growth.'

Telekom Malaysia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Dato' Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said the second phase of the high-speed broadband project [HSBB2] is "on the back of the successful first phase of the HSBB project, which was a proud achievement for Malaysia; elevating the nation to emerge as the highest in terms of number of high speed broadband subscribers in Southeast Asia and one of the most acknowledged fast track project roll-outs globally."

"The establishment of the submarine cable network to serve the bandwidth capacity requirements of Internet users in Sabah and Sarawak is much welcomed in anticipation of increasing future capacity requirements and the ever-growing data needs." said Zamzamzairani. "It is envisaged that there will be tremendous growth of data over the next few years and it is in tandem with an increasingly dynamic and high growth business environment in Malaysia, tied with the exponential rise in Internet usage."

Chan Kee Siak, CEO, Exabytes modified

Chan Kee Siak, CEO and Founder of Exabytes Network (pic) said HSBB2 will "definitely bring the overall usage of internet connectivity to the next level. With this, we are expecting the broadband to be faster and cover broader areas in the country. As a result, more internet connectivity intensive contents (such as Cloud services where the application is hosted in a remote data centre) and high definition contents (i.e. Videos and Gaming) will be in demand. Also, with the government's investment and subsidies on the National Broadband Infrastructure, we are expecting the price of Internet (in terms of per Mbps) to be much lower and affordable. The connectivity on wireless such as 3G and 4G mobile Internet will also be improved with extended area coverage."

"However, building just the infrastructure itself is not sufficient, we see more awareness campaign, workshops and trainings programs to be created to educate SME, SMI, and residents in rural areas to understand the benefits of Internet, and how they can use it to improve business productivity as well as understand the security and safety of Internet," said Chan.

"We are encouraged by the announcement of the second phase of high speed broadband (HSBB) to expand coverage and internet speeds as this will serve to drive Internet usage and higher productivity. This is a big boost for Digital Malaysia and will serve as a very important catalyst to drive us towards a Digital Economy," said MDeC's Badlisham.

"The more people and businesses get on-line, the quicker we as a country can drive our levels of production, efficiency and ultimately improve the quality of life of our citizens," he said. "Additionally, expanding internet access in schools, particularly in the rural areas is a critical factor in empowering the Bottom 40 community with digital access and capabilities - critical to the Digital Malaysia initiative."

PIKOM's Woon welcomed the extension of HSBB in the country, which includes investments of RM 1.8 billion [US$0.57 billion] for HSBB Phase 2, RM 1.6 billion [US$0.51 billion] for rural areas with the building of 1,000 transmission towers. "This will promote the digital economy and lifestyle for the community especially the rural areas in Sabah and Sarawak. However, we are still concerned on the overall communications cost as compared to our regional neighbours."


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