According to Malaysian editorial, The New Straits Times Press, restaurants in Kuala Lumpur (the largest city in Malaysia) are now required to have Wi-Fi. Enforcement of the new law will begin in April of this year, and is now a “mandatory prerequisite for food operators when they apply for their licence to open a new restaurant or when existing operators renew their licence.”

Back in 2008, a total of 1,500 free Wi-Fi hotspots were enabled via the WirelessKL service. With these new changes, the existing free hotspots are to be discontinued. According to The New Straits Times:

When asked why City Hall did not continue the free WirelessKL service with its service provider, Ahmad Fuad said the council wanted to give other service providers a chance to offer better connectivity and value-added service to city folk.

The law also applies to cafes, pubs, bars and club lounges, so long as they are larger than 120 sq m. While mandating the change sounds extreme, it is likely the quickest way to get every eatery up and running with Wi-Fi. As someone who works on their computer all the time, I find it remarkable that so many coffee shops in NYC still don’t provide free Wi-Fi.

No matter what though, I’d hate to see business owners forced into paying for internet services, especially for fine dining. Do you think a law the best way to increase connectivity in Malaysia?