KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians can look forward to better internet access.

A total of RM43 billion is expected to be invested over the next five years to boost the expansion of digital networks nationwide, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. (pix)

He said under the 12th Malaysia Plan, a total of RM28 billion will be invested by the public and private sectors to improve the existing 4G network.

He added over and above that, the private sector will invest RM15 billion to accelerate the implementation of 5G network nationwide.

“The 5G network will be launched at the end of this year. There will be various initiatives to help boost the contribution of the digital economy to 25.5% of the gross domestic product by 2025.”

He said that once implemented, the National Digital Network Plan or Jendela will provide 100% 4G coverage in populated areas, wider 5G coverage, and fixed line broadband to nine million premises by 2025.

“As of August, 94% of populated areas are already receiving 4G coverage. The speed of mobile broadband services has reached 29.1 megabits per second and more than six thousand premises have gained access to fixed line broadband services.”

Ismail Sabri also said that the National Digital Identity development project is already under way to create a secure and reliable identity verification platform as well as to provide safe electronic certifications.

He said additionally, to bridge the digital divide, especially between rural and urban areas due to differences in broadband infrastructure, Rural Internet Centres and Rural Community Centres will be transformed into “Malaysian Family Digital Centres” (Pusat Digital Keluarga Malaysia) to provide better and integrated services.

“This is also for the benefit of locals involved in e-commerce, skills training, learning and community activities.”