Working in earnest to meet the 50% household broadband penetration target by the end of this year, the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture yesterday launched the BB Trail program in efforts to increase broadband awareness and uptake in rural areas.
The five month program beginning July 15, consists of road shows covering more than 500 locations across the country including Sabah and Sarawak.
In a press release made available to us, the Ministry says that:
At every stop, the BB Trail will conduct interactive games and contests related to Broadband, offering all interested participants the chance to win attractive prizes related to the National Broadband Awareness and Promotional Program.
The Program targets all age groups covering students and educators of all levels especially those in institutions of higher learning, entrepreneurs and small and medium businesses, parents, families and the public at large.
Through the implementation of the BB Trail, the public would be able to obtain choice information on how to subscribe to broadband easily, and get to select whichever service providers they prefer based on the different promotions and packages offered.
As of July 7, 2010, over 37% of Malaysian households have broadband connection. This equates to about 2.4 million homes out of the 6.3 million homes in Malaysia.
To achieve the 50% household penetration target by the end of this year, another 1 million homes will need to have broadband connectivity. With just five months left in 2010, about 200,000 homes will need to have broadband connectivity a month. That’s a huge ask and the Ministry has their work cut out.
As of Q4 2009, the country’s household broadband penetration stood at 31.7%. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for the 50% broadband penetration target but it’s looking like the Ministry might not hit it.
Let’s wait and see.
Press release after the jump.
According to a news report, Malaysia has achieved 21.1% household broadband penetration. This exceeds its projection of 20% penetration under Malaysia’s National Broadband Implementation Plan.
Deputy Minister of Energy, Water and Communications Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum also added that it targets to achieve 50% household penetration in 2010. This means we have about a year to cover additional 30% of our nation’s household with broadband. We see this as a challenging target to achieve.
However it is still possible as there are new wireless broadband providers that have emerged recently utilising 3G HSDPA and WiMAX technology. Currently, the 3G players are Maxis, Celcom, U Mobile and new comer DiGi. On the WiMAX end, we have Packet 1, Redtone, YTL and Asiaspace. Not forgetting also are other wireless providers such as Izzi as well. Wireless is generally much faster to roll out due to lack of physical cabling to each potential user.
However we have questions on these new players roll out. Are they able to fulfill the extra 30% household within 1 year through proper coverage planning and capacity management?
Also what defines broadband? Is there a proper minimum definition of broadband by 2010? It would be pointless if broadband subscribers are achieved but average speed obtained is below broadband levels.
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