NFCP aims to achieve 500Mbps in state capitals, high-impact areas by 2021

by FARA AISYAH/ pic by BERNAMA

THE National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) aims to achieve a minimal 500Mbps in all premises in state capitals and selected high-impact areas by 2021, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said.

With NFCP, 98% of populated areas will have access to an average speed of 30Mbps.

“Broadband penetration is one of the impetuses to the survival of the national economy. The government is also committed to recognise connectivity as a utility just like water supply and electricity.

“This is important for driving development in the economy, education, health, transportation and smart city development sectors among others,” he said at the [email protected] 2019 programme in Kuching, Sarawak yesterday.

The ministry is highly aware of the need to enhance efforts to beef up the telecommunication infrastructure to ensure that Malaysia is capable of connecting its people, business and industry to the world.

Gobind has made cheaper and faster Internet as one of the priorities since taking over the administration of the country last year.

He is making the national agenda of high-speed Internet across every nook and cranny of the country a priority, evaluating new technologies and to bring Malaysia to levels of developed nations.

NFCP — which is slated for launch on Sept 19 — is expected to provide a robust, pervasive, high quality and affordable digital connectivity for the people, and subsequently aide in the progress of the nation.

It targets entry-level fixed broadband package at 1% of gross national income (GNI) by 2020; gigabits availability in selected industrial areas by 2020 and to all state capitals by 2023; and 20% availability for premises in suburban and rural areas with up to 500Mbps by 2022, among others.

The framework also targets fibre network to pass 70% of schools, hospitals, libraries, police stations and post offices by 2022; and improve mobile coverage along Pan-Borneo Highway upon completion.

Gobind is also proposing for Internet connectivity to be listed and considered as utilities on par with water and electricity supply.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak recently said the RM21.6 billion estimated budget for the NFCP will be half funded by the Universal Service Provision (USP) fund, while the remaining will be channelled by the capital expenditure of telecommunications companies (telcos) in Malaysia.

“Looking at our plans under NFCP and based on certain assumptions on number of towers and kilometres of fibre optics to be developed, we came up with the RM21.6 billion figure after discussion with telcos,” he said earlier this month.

He further said the USP fund will be regulated by MCMC and commercially by the service providers.

Meanwhile, the minister also said that a total of 1,430 Komuniti Harapan Malaysia (KHM) have been established throughout the country to disseminate information from the government and to foster a sense of unity among the people.

As of Aug 23, 184 KHMs have been established in Sarawak.