PETALING JAYA: The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) is concerned that the call for compulsory provision of broadband facilities at all new commercial and residential areas may be punitive to developers.

Rehda was referring to the recent announcement made by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to amend the Uniform Building By-Laws 1984 to provide for the mandatory provision of the facilities.

“We applaud efforts to increase the Internet broadband usage in the country, but making it mandatory for developers to install the service infrastructure will involve a huge amount of capital. Developers will also have to come up with an agreement with the Internet Service Provider companies,” said Rehda’s president, Datuk Ng Seing Liong in a statement on March 9.

Rehda, he said, hoped the government would undertake a thorough cost benefit analysis before the measure is made mandatory and find a solution that will benefit all parties without solely burdening developers, he added.

He added that while the Internet Service Provider companies would be able to reap profits via subscriptions, developers, on the other hand, would have to fork out the extra cost to provide such facilities.

“The compulsory provision means extra cost to the developers who are already burdened with other utility contributions to be paid.”

Ng noted that not all buyers are going to subscribe to the broadband service, especially those in rural and small towns.

“There could be alternative measures to encourage house buyers to subscribe to the broadband service instead of pushing the task to developers,” he said.