TNB, TM wind up NFP collaboration

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) have mutually agreed not to proceed with the nationwide fiberisation plan (NFP) collaboration effective yesterday.

TNB and TM signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreement on Jan 16, 2018, to jointly develop an implementation plan to deliver the government’s NFP.

TNB, in a filing yesterday, said the discontinuation of the MoU does not preclude TNB and TM from considering other opportunities for future collaborations.

The MoU was inked between TNB president and CEO Datuk Seri Azman Mohd (picture) and former TM MD and group CEO Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly. Media reports suggested the plan would have cost an estimated RM10 billion.

The collaboration was initially aimed at capitalising the strength of both government-linked companies to provide the most efficient cost structure, as well as accelerate the country’s fibre broadband network reach. TM has over 2.35 million broadband subscribers as at end of August 2017, while TNB has about 9.2 million customers in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and the Federal Territory of Labuan.

TNB has an extensive fibre-optic network built into its system for supervisory control and data acquisition. The network is available in transmission lines and substations.

In December, TNB’s Azman said the company was in talks with parties over the use of its network as part of the NFP 2017-2019 plan. The NFP was an initiative aimed at expand- ing the availability as well as improving the affordability of broadband services, as announced in the government’s Budget 2017 to double broadband speeds at lower prices by 2019.

Under the three-tier model to be established for the NFP, the first tier involved the use of TNB’s fibre-trunk network for wholesale back-haul services.

Last mile access will be offered by the second-tier wholesale service providers, while the third-tier providers will comprise existing telecommunication companies that offer retail services to consumers and businesses.

The government appointed Broadnet Networks Sdn Bhd to undertake the NFP in December 2017. It was not known how Broadnet will fit into the TNB-TM proposed broadband alliance then.

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