KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 (Bernama) — Malaysia’s broadband penetration of 67.2 per cent recorded in first quarter this year is relatively high while the cost of Internet connectivity is still very low compared with neighbouring countries.
An online survey that ranked Malaysia at 126th place out of 192 countries in terms of average download speeds is therefore inaccurate and disputable as it omitted key factors such as broadband penetration rates, user broadband plans and market dynamics.
The survey by Ookla, a website-based broadband speed testing and network diagnostic application, also ranked Malaysia behind Cambodia and Vietnam in the list.
Telekom Malaysia Bhd, in a statement to Bernama, said although Malaysia was reportedly said to have an average speed of 5.4Mbps, its broadband coverage and penetration surpassed most of its neighbouring countries.
Thus, average speeds may be lower as we take into account nationwide reach and the type of broadband speed packages taken up, TM said.
For instance, average speeds in one well-connected city but no access in rural areas may present a different picture, versus the Malaysian picture which has coverage nationwide.
Meanwhile, on claims of high Internet connectivity cost in Malaysia,TM said it should not be seen as an apple-to-apple comparison as the deployment costs of network infrastructure were influenced by various factors including geographical factors and the size of the country.
Malaysia, with far remote rural areas and its topography where a range of mountains cover a significant percentage of the country, makes the aspiration of establishing a fully-connected nation a challenging task.
Nevertheless, a survey by BT Teleconsult has proven that TM’s capital expenditure was among the most cost effective globally based on the key features of the deployed high-speed broadband and fastest roll-out period with the largest scope.
The Affordability Index 2013 published by Alliance for Affordable Internet in December 2013 ranked Malaysia at the top spot overall of similar middle income countries and development status, based on the evaluation which covers communications infrastructure composite, access and affordability.
TM said efforts to continuously improve the speeds, coverage and penetration in Malaysia and the government’s commitment were evident with ongoing support to roll out the second phase of high-speed broadband and long-term evolution.
TM contributed over 40 per cent towards achieving national broadband penetration rate.