The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is eyeing to equip 1.2 million homes and premises with fibre connectivity by 2021 to drive the country towards better digital connectivity.
According to MCMC Chairman Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek, the agency will aggressively work to achieve the target set out under the Jalinan Digital Negara (Jendela), which is the national digital infrastructure plan.
“It will take time, we will continue to drive the industry to make sure the delivery of the infrastructure is as per targeted,” he said at “The Nation” talk show aired by Bernama TV.
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A part of the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025), the Jendela action plan would set the foundation for high-quality and comprehensive broadband coverage, while preparing Malaysia for the transition to fifth-generation network (5G) technology, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in August.
On plans to list internet services as the third public utility next to water and electricity, Fadhlullah revealed that Penang has already adopted it as a policy, reported Bernama.
“So, we are now going down to the states, meet up the respective chief ministers and menteri besar telling them its importance,” he said.
However, he noted that this goal is not without challenge, citing land issues as the usual obstacle.
This comes as each state has its own land laws, with the local authorities having their own set of rules.
“Imagine, now you go to a state to lay fibre or build a [telecommunications] tower. In order to do so, you actually have to deal with land regulations, and this can take a month, sometimes up a year,” he said.
“Then you go to the local authorities, they have another set of rules that you need to conform to, you have to go to many departments there to get approvals from…these will cause a very long delay.”
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