The Internet is developing rapidly in Malaysia, helped by some of the lowest dial-up rates in the world (around 40 US cents per hour). As a result, there were some 1.2 million Internet subscribers—the majority residential—at the end of 2000 with an estimated 15 per cent of the population using the Internet. Broadband access is predominantly via leased lines. Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) technology is being tested but is not yet widely available. Pay television service is mainly through Direct-to-Home satellite technology so cable modem access is not an option in Malaysia. Another option for broadband access is through fixed wireless but there are a number of technical and regulatory challenges to overcome in this area.
An ITU team, consisting of Vanessa Gray, Michael Minges and Lucy Firth, carried out field research for Malaysia from 2-6 April 2001. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (CMC)—the country’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) regulator—served as counterpart and organized meetings with relevant government and industry organization.