Telcos fully back national connectivity plan

29 August 2019 Telcos fully back national connectivity plan
PETALING JAYA: Industry players are throwing in their support for the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), under which Malaysians across the urban-rural divide are set to enjoy high-quality and affordable digital connectivity.

The Cabinet has approved RM21.6bil to implement the five-year plan, expected to be launched in mid-September, according to the Communications and Multimedia Ministry.

The announcement yesterday brought a positive response from industry players.

Telekom Malaysia group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Noor Kamarul Anuar Nuruddin said his company would give its full support to make sure the nation achieves the NFCP targets.

“We are able to do it in a very fast way because our fibre is almost there already. It’s just that we need to plug some holes here and there to make sure we can complete it,” he said, adding that the telco presented its plan to the ministry.

YTL Communications CEO Wing K. Lee said the telco would work hand-in-hand with the rest of the industry to make the NFCP a reality.

He added that the company’s previous projects had shown its commitment towards a broadband nation and that its support would continue for this endeavour.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said telcos and service providers are key stakeholders in ensuring the NFCP goals are met through accelerated commercial deployment of their infrastructure, coordinating deployment to minimise duplication and bring down cost via infrastructure sharing to benefit consumers.

As the agency tasked with implementing the NFCP, MCMC will plan, coordinate, and streamline digital infrastructure requirements for the country while engaging with other stakeholders from Federal ministries, state governments and local councils.

In addition to this, the ministry and MCMC would ensure that appropriate policies were put in place to facilitate fast and cost-effective deployment of digital infrastructure under NFCP, MCMC added.

Celcom Axiata CEO Idham Nawawi said to succeed, the NFCP must emphasise on the sustainability aspect, where the policy has to provide “win-win-win” solutions that will benefit the government, the rakyat and the service providers at the same time.

He said the company was keen to play a major role in the development of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, a key goal of the NFCP.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation CEO Surina Shukri welcomed the Cabinet’s approval, calling the NFCP another major stride in boosting the country’s digital economy.

“MDEC remains committed to leading Malaysia’s digital economy forward to drive shared prosperity, and this will be achieved by building connectivity with speed and bandwidth that will, in turn, increase digital adoption and drive new opportunities for all Malaysians,” she said.

Maxis Bhd, when contacted, said in order to facilitate the implementation of the NFCP, sharing of passive infrastructure should be encouraged for cost-effective and timely rollout.

“We will continue to invest in accessing available fibre networks in Malaysia and building our own, where possible,” it said.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the RM21.6bil implementation would involve infrastructure projects in targeted areas that are expected to provide a boost to the country’s economy.

“The NFCP’s main targets include the provision of an average speed of 30 Mbps in 98% of populated areas and gigabits availability in selected industrial areas by the year 2020 and all state capitals by 2023,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Benefactors of high-speed broadband connectivity include schools, the Felda community, indigenous community, small and medium enterprises, state capitals and more.

Gobind said a special taskforce headed by the ministry and comprising related agencies will be set up to coordinate the construction of digital infrastructure in schools, police stations, hospitals and libraries.

The National Union of the Teaching Profession president Aminuddin Awang hoped the special taskforce will address some 28 pressing issues involving Internet connectivity in schools.

Source: TheStar