Bringing the Internet to the Rural Area: A Case Study of the ’KedaiKom’ Project in Malaysia

Bringing the Internet to the Rural Area: A Case Study of the ’KedaiKom’ Project in Malaysia

Zulkefli bin Ibrahim (University of Malaya, Malaysia), Ainin Sulaiman (University of Malaya, Malaysia) and Tengku M. Faziharudean (University of Malaya, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1852-7.ch023
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Abstract

Malaysia aims to be an information society by the year 2020 can only be achieved if the mass population, that include those who live in the rural area, has the access to use the ICT. This is due to the uneven distribution of the basic telecommunication infostructure between the urban and rural areas in Malaysia that left the rural area to be at the disadvantage to access the ICT. Meanwhile, there are many programs that have been implemented by the government to encourage the rural population to use the Internet, such as ‘Kedaikom’, a community based telecenter serving the rural population. A questionnaire survey was conducted to investigate how ‘Kedaikom’ as a community based telecenter could assist in diffusing the usage of the ICT to the rural population. The result from the survey has indicated that the community telecenter could be used to bridge the digital divide between the underserved rural community and the well-accessed urban community. More of the rural population, especially from the younger generation and those with higher education background (irrespective of age) are using the community telecenter to be connected to the Internet.
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Background Of Ict Diffusion And Digital Divide In Malaysia

Malaysia has already experienced decades of technology transformations impacting the rural community, but the rate of development and adoption of technology are too slow among the underserved rural community as compared to their urban counterparts (MCMC, 2009). Thus, narrowing the gap requires a totally new transformation through an integrated rural development plan, to make the area into more progressive, more attractive, and more profitable. The general well-being of the rural communities must be at least on the same level as what is considered the norm for the whole nation.

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