Photo - Chiew Kok Hin, Chairman, Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX)
According to the Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX), there has been a 60 percent increase in overall Internet traffic in the first half of 2015, which has been linked to Malaysia's rising broadband penetration rate.
Chiew Kok Hin, chairman of MyIX (a non-profit initiative under national regulator Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission, MCMC), said: "We continue to see an increase in Internet traffic. As of end Q2 2015, the Internet traffic was recorded 98,589 Mbps (Megabits per second) as compared with 61,771 Mbps in the same period in 2014 - showing a 60 percent increase."
"Over the last few years, the main focus of the government has been to increase the Internet penetration rate in Malaysia," said Chiew, adding the global target for a developing nation was to achieve a 40 percent household broadband penetration rate in 2015.
"According to MCMC's 2015 first quarter report, Malaysia has now achieved the household broadband penetration rate of 70.2 percent," he said.
In 2009, the household broadband penetration rate was only at 31.7 percent, and today this figure has doubled, Chiew said.
"The drastic increase in internet traffic over the last few years is in-synch with the growth rate of broadband users in Malaysia. As of 2014, there is a total of 20.7 million broadband subscribers, with 85 percent consisting of mobile broadband subscribers," he said.
Mobile penetration rate
"This corresponds with the country's mobile penetration rate," Chiew said. "In 2011, a survey by MCMC showed there were 36 million phone subscribers in Malaysia; this figure rose to 45 million by the end of 2014, increasing the mobile penetration rate to 148.5."
The introduction of MCMC's Youth Communication Package (YCP) in 2012 has helped to increase nationwide phone subscribers by 25 per cent, he said. The government also introduced the Universal Service Provision (USP) namely 'Smart Device with Internet Package' to accelerate mobile broadband take up.
Chiew added that Malaysia has geographical challenges when it comes to infrastructure upgrades. "With Sabah and Sarawak being across the South China Sea, the cost of connecting these two states increases tremendously. That's why it is important that investments to connect rural areas are done."
The government had announced heavy investments in underwater cables for Sabah and Sarawak in the 2014 Budget; as well as the allocation of RM1.2billion in the recent 2016 Budget to increase rural broadband speed from 5 Mbps to 20 Mbps - to serve as a catalyst for rural SMEs to venture into e-commerce adoption.
Chiew said that MyIX also recently conducted a three-day 'Routing II' workshop in collaboration with Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) - the not-for-profit regional Internet registry for the Asia Pacific region that saw 40 participants receive hands-on lab exercises and lectures from certified APNIC instructors.
The workshop was held to provide technical training for mid-level to senior technical and design employees of Internet service providers (ISP), network operators or enterprises involved in day-to-day network operation and planning function.
"MyIX will be conducting similar trainings to enhance the knowledge and skills of technical employees which is essential for the growth of internet service providers (ISP) and network operators. We are constantly looking at ways MyIX can help our members and the industry to better the internet experience in Malaysia," said Chiew.
The establishment of MyIX in 2006 has brought a significant difference to the internet industry in Malaysia, he said. One of MyIX primary efforts has been to facilitate a neutral network for the Internet Service Providers (ISP) and Contents Providers (CP) to peer in the country. By keeping the traffic local via MyIX, the cost of connectivity has decreased in the last decade.
"As new e-commerce and internet rich platforms emerge in the market, it is important that they peer with MyIX to ensure that local traffic remains local. We welcome both the local and foreign players in the industry such as social media platforms, e-commerce shopping sites, IPTV, video-on-demand, online gaming and more to contact us and peer with MyIX," he said.
MyIX, which practices an 'open peering policy', currently has 84 members consisting of all local ISPs and foreign players such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, Akamai, Microsoft, Swiftserve, Tencent, Biznet Networks, Hutchison Global and Telstra.
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