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MyIX: Demand For Internet Bandwidth To Grow This Year

KUALA LUMPUR: The demand for internet bandwidth in Malaysia will continue to grow this year, fuelled by specific sectors such as e-commerce, online entertainment, remote work, and cloud-based services.

The Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX) chairman, Chiew Kok Hin, said that to accommodate this surge in demand, MyIX is implementing specific measures to enhance the overall internet infrastructure and focusing on infrastructure expansion.

“These include upgrades, investments by local internet service providers (ISPs) and global players, and the adoption of new technologies that drive further enhancements in internet connectivity,” he told The Exchange Asia.

Chiew said the country’s demand for internet bandwidth continues to show strong and sustained growth.

This trend is evidenced by the record peak of 2.1 terabits per second recorded in May 2023, and as the current demand for internet bandwidth is also around this mark, MyIX foresees it rising further in the months and years to come.

Chiew said this internet usage surge is driven by various factors, including the proliferation of the latest and most powerful digital technologies, the expansion of online services, and evolving user behaviours.

Moreover, the increase in participation from various entities, including hosting companies, universities and enterprises, has enriched the MyIX ecosystem, leveraging the ‘network effect to improve connectivity across Malaysia.

“By encouraging more entities to join the exchange, we aim to enhance our users’ overall internet performance and reliability,” said Chiew.

He also said the advancements in video conferencing, large-scale display technologies, and emerging technologies such as cloud computing, IoT (Internet of Things), and 5G have significantly contributed to this surge.

“In particular, artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be progressively moving mainstream. The proliferation of AI in various aspects of life and work significantly contributes to the sustained high demand for internet bandwidth.

“AI technologies are becoming increasingly embedded in our daily activities, from personalised recommendations on streaming platforms to intelligent productivity tools in the workplace.

“In this light, MyIX recognises the importance of adapting our infrastructure to accommodate the bandwidth requirements of AI technologies, ensuring that Malaysia remains at the forefront of digital innovation and connectivity,” said Chiew.

Chiew said there is also a convergence of AI with some of the technologies mentioned.

For example, a noteworthy development in this realm is the availability of the Zoom AI Companion in Bahasa Malaysia, marking a significant milestone in making advanced AI tools accessible to a broader audience in Malaysia.

For video conferencing meetings, it offers capabilities like quick catching up on missed discussions, smart recording with highlights and chapters, and even generating summaries with the next steps.

These developments enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of digital communications and highlight the growing demand for internet infrastructure capable of supporting sophisticated AI applications, said Chiew.

In response to these trends, Chiew said MyIX remains committed to ensuring its infrastructure is robust and adaptable to meet the growing demands.

“We are planning for substantial infrastructure investments and capacity expansions in 2024, focusing on enhancing the efficiency and capability of our internet exchange infrastructure.

“These initiatives are designed to future-proof our network against the increasing traffic volumes and ensure the provision of fast, reliable internet connectivity to our users,” said Chiew.

Chiew pointed out that in the last financial year, MyIX underwent a comprehensive restructuring of its backend network, implementing various improvements.

“We invested in new firewalls, specifically Fortigate, to fortify our network’s access redundancy. This addition significantly bolstered our system’s resilience when accessed via non-MyIX networks.

“Furthermore, we expanded our upstream providers at no cost. The two providers, namely REDtone Engineering & Network Services Sdn Bhd and IP Serverone Solutions Sdn Bhd, were crucial additions to our network architecture,” said Chiew.

He also noted that MyIX recognises the importance of collaboration in this dynamic ecosystem.

“We are actively engaging with ISPs, content providers and other stakeholders through ongoing discussions and partnerships to optimise the internet ecosystem in Malaysia.

“Such collaborative efforts are vital for collectively addressing the escalating bandwidth demand and ensuring a seamless internet experience for all users,” he said.

MyIX’s vision is to shape the future of internet connectivity in Malaysia by building a resilient and scalable infrastructure that can support the dynamic needs of its users and the broader digital economy.

On the corporate social responsibility (CSR) front, Chiew said MyIX launched a national initiative, the Network Infrastructure Training Programme, aligning to empower the Malaysian workforce with essential digital economy skills.

The programme kicked off last month at MyIX’s headquarters in Puchong, Selangor, selecting 25 participants from a pool of hundreds for the inaugural ‘Explore the World of Network Infrastructure’ course.

This effort, in partnership with Forward College, aims to address the digital skills gap by providing hands-on training in critical areas such as internet protocol (IP) network and systems operations, routing protocols, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) prevention strategies.

Chiew said this initiative was designed to benefit recent graduates, professionals from MyIX member companies, and the industry at large.

With the backing of MyIX members, the programme reflects a strong commitment to collaborative efforts in technological education, underscoring the importance of building a skilled workforce ready to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital future.

“This programme is not just about theoretical learning but also about equipping participants with practical skills that can be immediately applied in the workforce.

“Through such initiatives, MyIX plays a pivotal role in enhancing internet speed, reliability and security in Malaysia, contributing significantly to the country’s digital economy,” Chiew said.

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