PUTRAJAYA, June 3 — The government has agreed to recognise communication services as part of public utilities in the country after water and electricity supply, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said the Cabinet at its meeting yesterday approved the proposed action memorandum to make communication a public utility with the use of the Communication Infrastructure Planning Guideline (GPP-I).

“The recognition of communication services as public utility is important to ensure access to high quality communication services can be provided speedily and comprehensively at a reasonable operational cost,” he said in a virtual press conference here today.

Saifuddin said one benefit of classifying communication work as a public utility was to ensure that digital infrastructure could be provided speedily and yet keeping the operational and development costs reasonable.

“It will also ensure the readiness of a high quality communication network that can add value to a state’s bigger economic activities and boost the country’s competitiveness through the provision of a uniform and transparent process.

“Digital infrastructure connectivity is an important element to promote economy growth and improve the competitiveness of a country,” he added.

He said making communication services part of public utilities would now be included as a condition in Development Approval for new developments in a location.

“Communication services will add value to any new projects for development,” he said.

Saifuddin thanked menteris besar and chief ministers for playing their role by gazetting communication services as part of public utilities.

“It can be said the whole country has adopted communication as a public utility, and this will speed up the process of installing assets related to connectivity under the National Digital Network (Jendela) programme,” he said.


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