PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya is focusing on boosting internet speed as 80% of the population now has access to broadband.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Keruak said it had been focusing all this while on providing internet to the majority of the population, even though at lower speeds.
“Now that almost 80% of our population can access broadband, we can focus more on boosting speeds to achieve the 11th Malaysia Plan targets of 100 Mbps in urban areas and 20 Mbps in rural areas.
“The average speed in Malaysia today allows for online commerce. In fact, the internet growth is evident from the usage of Zalora, Fashion Valet and Lazada,” he told FMT.
Salleh was responding to data collected by M-Lab, a partnership between New America’s Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research and Princeton University’s PlanetLab.
The report stated that Malaysia and the rest of the world still lagged behind Singapore, which recorded the world’s fastest download speed of 55.13 Mbps in the latest study
Malaysia ranked 63rd with a top download speed of 6.69 Mbps,
This means that it will take 18 minutes and 34 seconds to download a 7.5 GB HD movie in Singapore and two hours, 33 minutes and three seconds to download a similar movie in Malaysia.
The survey was conducted across 189 countries over 12 months up to May this year and ranked by Cable.co.uk, which took more than 63 million broadband speed tests.
Although outstripped by Singapore, Malaysia still fared better than many of its other Asean neighbours, coming in third regionally behind Thailand (29th with a speed of 16.85 Mbps).
Vietnam ranked 74th (5.46 Mbps), Indonesia 75th (5.19 Mbps), Cambodia 98th (3.1 Mbps) and Laos 124th (1.94 Mbps).
Malaysia also beat Indonesia (75th, 5.19 Mbps), Brunei (86th, 3.83 Mbps), the Philippines (87th, 3.69 Mbps), Cambodia (98th, 3.1 Mbps) and Myanmar (118th, 2.09 Mbps).
In 2015, Salleh came under fire from several politicians for claiming that Malaysians prefer slower broadband speeds.
Salleh had said 71% of Malaysians preferred the slower broadband packages, like that offered by Streamyx with speeds of between 384 Kbps and 1 Mbps. They chose to pay less for slower internet speeds instead of spending more on fast connections, he said.
His comments drew criticism from former international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.
In 2016, Salleh said Malaysia’s priority was to ensure the people had access to internet, not how fast it is.