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Telekom Malaysia Expansion

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The Internet Infra-structure

The internet usage is growing very rapidly in Malaysia in the recent years. The internet is well-known as JARING (Joint Advanced Research Networking) in Malaysia.

Currently, MIMOS (Malaysian Institute of Microelectronics Systems), a governemt agency is overall maintaining and responsible for the the network backbone for JARING. Due to the rapid growth, the director-general of MIMOS Dr Tengku Mohamed Azzman Shariffadeen has made a press statement lately that under the Seventh Malaysia Plan, the speed of the network will be upgraded to about 20 to 300 times. A high speed 34 Mbps to 45Mbps link will be established. Public can access the Internet by calling 1511 or the telephone numbers supplied by MIMOS.

Telekom Malaysia Berhad, has been recently approved by cabinet to be the second ISP in the country, making MIMOS no longer lonely in providing access to the global network. The TMNet is expected to further boost the Internet population with Telekom Malaysia Berhad's capabilities.

The growth is generally attributed to the awareness of Malaysian regarding the usefulness of the Information Superhighway, the coverage from the mass media and strong support from the government.

The commitment from the country leaders and government proven by the development of MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor) will have a direct impact on the promoting the growth of internet in the nation. The gradual installations of Internet Access PC for all schools will have a positive effect on the awareness of the global network.

The Content Of Information

On the Internet content, Malaysia' Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently suggested that the international community draw up a common agreement to check abuses such as pornography from being transmitted in the Internet.

Prime Minister - Dr Mahathir

"There must come a time when the international community comes together to have a law that can be applied in every country," he said.

The Prime Minister said the common agreement would allow the international community to appeal or charge a citizen in the country where he floated pornography in the Internet.

"For example if a person in the United States was floating dirty literature in the Internet which affects our children here, we (Malaysians) can then appeal or bring a charge against the person.

"The action should be taken in the US, by the US. Maybe this is the answer," he said when responding to a question from participants of the chief executive officers' forum entitled The Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) The Concept and Implementation Challenges at the Putra World Trade Centre recently.

Dr Mahathir noted that it was not only the Malaysians who were worried about pornography and their children getting access to that. He said he had spoken to leaders of other countries such as Germany and Japan who had also voiced their concern. "We think there should be some international agreement on what can go or cannot go on this free media (Internet)," he said.

Malaysia, he said, had been trying to "remain close" in terms of information but it was almost impossible to stop news from being disseminated. Mainly internet is beyond the control of the nation. "And now with the Internet, just about anything can be spread. You can be as subversive as ever and you can actually tell Malaysians they should revolt against the Government. Practically there is nothing we can do," he added.

However, Dr Mahathir noted there would be a lot of resistance to the idea of a common agreement to check abuses in the Internet, adding that the argument was that "it is a restriction of freedom." The Prime Minister reiterated that freedom could not be absolute.

The Prime Minister has reiterated that the negative impact of the internet however, will not discrupt the grow of the Information Superhighway as the positive values are much greater.

Government agencies, higher learning institutions and private organisations are now making ways to publish online information for their department and services.

ISP licences by the Ministry of Energy, Telecommunications and Posts. The five new licences were awarded to existing telecommunications carriers Celcom, Mutiara, PrismaNet, Time Telecommunications and Bina Sat-Com. They will join the two incumbent ISPs, Jaring and TMNet, and are expected to commence services before the end of 1998. The government has stated that it does not expect to issue any further licences in the immediate future, however the value-added service provider market (ie, reselling from the licensed ISPs) is completely deregulated. At the end of 1997 Malaysia had approximately 205,000 Internet users, split evenly between Jaring and TMNet.

Jaring, the network provided by the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems (MIMOS), was the country's first Internet backbone and gateway. Its international connectivity is extensive and includes one T3 link and two E1 links to the US, multiple E1s to Canada, an E1 to the ABONE exchange in Japan and a 256kbps connection to SingNet in Singapore. Domestically, its backbone has 71 points of presence (POPs) throughout the country located in major towns. These are generally connected by 2Mbps links and in some cases 34Mbps links.

Both the country's Internet backbones (ie Jaring and TMNet) are linked together via a 10Mbps connection.

TMNet, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia Berhad, was introduced as a second ISP in 1996 and has quickly established itself alongside Jaring as a key backbone operator. Its international connections consist of a T3 to AT&T WorldNet in San Francisco, two E1s and a 512kbps link through MCI, and two links to Japan one 128kbps link to KDD and another 128kbps link to IDC.

Domestically, TMNet is promoting the use of ISDN to speed up access to the Internet, which many users still complain is too slow. ISDN lines are available through parent company Telekom Malaysia, with most of the other carriers yet to implement ISDN on a large scale.

In addition to the national backbones,



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