Less than 20% of areas with poor Internet access

Coverage was available in those areas initially but it was disrupted due to vandalism and theft


LESS than 20% of areas in the country have poor Internet access, Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said.

According to Zahidi, in some areas, Internet access has been disrupted due to vandalism and theft.

“Coverage was available in those areas initially, but due to stolen fibre optic cables, copper wiring or standby generators at some communication towers, the service was disrupted.

“To overcome this, the ministry is working on increasing broadband access,” he told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Zahidi was responding to a supplementary question from M Karuppaiya (Pakatan Harapan-Padang Serai) on the number of areas with very poor Internet access in the country.

Responding to a question by Sabri Azit (PAS-Jerai) on measures to overcome the problem of Internet coverage in rural areas, Zahidi said the construction of communication towers and upgrading of existing communication transmitters to 3G and 4G services are being intensified nationwide.

According to him, up until June this year, a total of 2,360 communication towers were built while works on 280 towers are still being carried out.

“Additionally, a total of 5,348 communication transmitters at existing tower structures have been upgraded to 3G and 4G services. Some 11 communication transmitters are still in the implementation stage.

“As for fixed-line broadband Internet service, the government has implemented the suburban broadband and rural broadband projects to provide high-speed broadband facilities in suburban and rural areas throughout the country,” he added.

Zahidi said up to June 2020, 639,676 extensions were readily available, while 34,781 extensions were still in the implementation phase and due to be completed in stages this year.