KEMAMAN, Dec 13 — Malaysia can take pride in its broadband penetration rate of just over 67 per cent, but the country must strive to achieve 100 per cent, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said Saturday.
He said Malaysia, which its vast expanse of land, had to incur heavy expenditure in establishing a good communications network, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak.
As such, the government needed the cooperation of various parties to push the broadband penetration rate higher, he told reporters after launching the maiden ‘Internet for All’ (IFA) village, introduced by DiGi Telecommunications, in Kampung Gong Chengal here.
DiGi Telecommunications CEO Lars-Ake Norling and DiGi.com Berhad director Datuk Ab Halim Mohyiddin were also present at the launch.
“High-speed broadband and Internet facilities demand heavy investment and, we believe, no government can go it alone due to the high cost.
“We are thankful to the private companies, such as DiGi, which help to make available Internet facilities for the benefit of the villagers,” Ahmad Shabery said.
Norling said the IFA village was introduced to help the rural people enjoy the Internet.
The facility is introduced in a village that has the 1Malaysia Internet Centre (PI1M) built by DiGi with the cooperation of the ministry, he added.
“So far, DiGi has set up 64 PI1M in the country since 2009. Thirty-four of these are ready and 30 more are expected to be completed by the middle of next year.
“DiGi will introduce the IFA village in stages in the villages that have the PI1M. For this first programme, it is anticipated that more than 800 families in the village will benefit,” he said.
He said the programme would ensure that each family in the village had at least one smartphone that could access the Internet. DiGi also educated the villagers on using the Internet facility, he added.