(File pix) Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said to ensure more Malaysians get to enjoy broadband services especially the B40 group, the government had strived to provide terrestrial broadband services such as 3G and 4G services that are cheaper and more stable than satellite services.

KUALA LUMPUR: High-speed broadband (HSBB) penetration rate for households nationwide reached 81.8 per cent as of April this year, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

Salleh said, to ensure more Malaysians get to enjoy broadband services especially the B40 group, the government had strived to provide terrestrial broadband services such as 3G and 4G services that are cheaper and more stable than satellite services.

“In developing the country's telecommunications services and infrastructure, the government through the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) strives to provide terrestrial broadband services such as 3G and 4G services that are cheaper and more stable than satellite services.

"Not only that, the ministry also ensures telecommunication companies offer basic packages at low prices,” he said. The B40 group refers to the lower income group of households in the country.

"For example, the basic package of mobile broadband price ranges from RM20 per month while Telekom Malaysia Bhd also offers a basic broadband package of 1 megabit per second at a price of RM38 per month," he said in a reply to a question from Senator Datuk Chai Kim Sen during the question-and-answer session at the Dewan Negara sitting.

Chai had asked Salleh to state the penetration rate of the HSBB using fibre optics in the country, according to state and the effort taken by the ministry to reduce HSBB prices so that more people could enjoy it especially the B40 group.

Salleh further added that the government in collaboration with industry players had implemented various communications infrastructure development initiatives to ensure 95 per cent of broadband coverage is achievable by 2020.

"Satellite technology has been used in the broadband services using the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) in remote areas in Sabah, Sarawak and in Peninsular Malaysia and the ministry finds that satellite technology is not a solution to improve the nation's broadband services as it has weaknesses.

“The weaknesses include limited capacity, high operational costs and high maintenance costs as well as unstable service in the event of weather disturbances and power supplies shortages,” he added.

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