Malaysian telecommunications provider TIME dotCom Berhad (Time) has entered into a partnership with social media giant Facebook to invest in Internet infrastructure in the country, according to a report in Focus Malaysia.

Time's business interests include data centers and managed services through its subsidiary AIMS Data Centre.

Networking the social network

The network infrastructure project is expected to be completed by Q2 2020 and will be used exclusively to support Facebook and other Facebook-owned services.

“This partnership will allow us to build a faster and more efficient network to better support our family of apps and services,” explained Nico Roehrich, Facebook’s network investment manager for the Asia Pacific.

Slow Internet speed has long been a bugbear in Malaysia, alongside poor coverage to certain parts of the country. Part of this had previously been attributed to inadequate submarine cables landing in the country, though this is understood to have improved substantially.

The situation also took a turn for the better under the Pakatan Harapan government, with Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo widely credited with introducing policies that led to a doubling of broadband speeds and significantly lower prices.

According to Gobind, submarine cables landing in Malaysia can also take advantage of cabotage exemption for undersea cable repairs, with a new, faster cable repair approval process so that both local and foreign vessels carrying out undersea cable repairs in Malaysian waters can start work quickly. This results in faster repairs and more reliable Internet access to overseas sites.

“We look forward to the prospects that this partnership [with Facebook] offers, as it opens the door for Malaysia to establish itself as a regional technology hub,” said Chiew Kok Hin, Time’s head of OTT.

“More international connectivity and a robust domestic backbone will attract sizeable investments into Malaysia. It only makes sense for us to capitalize on the strategic location of Malaysia in Southeast Asia, ease of access and relatively lower cost of entry.”