JASIN: Over the years, the fixed broadband service in this district has been served only by a copper network, including at the district post office.
The situation however is set to change following the launch of the Government’s National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) pilot project here by the country’s utility giant, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).
The high-speed broadband system (HSBB) which was made available through TNB’s fibre optic infrastructure will enable the residents of Taman Merbau Perdana (including the police staff quarters), Taman Maju and Felda Tun Ghafar Kemendor, as well as the Jasin post ofice and municipal council to enjoy Internet speed that reaches 1Gbps at an affordable price.
TNB chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie said these three residential areas comprising 1,100 households could now subscribe to any of the broadband service packages being offered by the existing eight retail service providers.
He said the high-speed broadband pilot project would be used by TNB to assess the commercial viability for it to embark on possible larger-scale NFCP participation nationwide.
“Results from the pilot project will help to determine the next direction for TNB.
“It will assist us in evaluating the business costs and investment opportunities which may be available in the new segment of the HSBB service market,” he said at the recent launching of the project by Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
Present at the event held at the Jasin municipal council were State Communications, Multimedia, Youth Development and Sports Committee chairman Kerk Chee Yee, Communications and Multimedia Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Mohd Ali Mohamad Nor and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman (MCMC) Al-Ishsal Ishak.
Moggie said the pilot project would also assess the technical and safety aspects of using TNB’s electrical infrastructure for the NFCP.
Internet a necessity
Gobind said the NFCP pilot project was the first step in providing high-speed and quality broadband services to connect the people across the country especially in rural areas.
He pointed out that the Internet was a basic necessity that should be provided to all the people and not just to any privileged group.
“It is the Government’s desire to ensure that all the people can enjoy high-speed broadband Internet services,” he said.
Project director Muhammad Faisal Sidek said the NFCP pilot project has allowed existing Internet service providers (ISPs) to expand to rural areas such as Jasin without the need to provide the fibre optic infrastructure that requires high investment costs.
The TNB general manager (Strategy, Partnership and Transformation Department, ICT Division) explained that the ISPs would only need to compete with each other in offering their HSBB services to their potential customers.
For Khatijah Mat Yassin, 58, the NFCP initiative being implemented by the Government would benefit her youngest child who was pursuing her studies at a public university in Perlis.
She said the HSBB services would enable her daughter to enjoy faster Internet connectivity when she returns here on her semester break.
“Students here can also utilise the broadband facilities at their homes when seaching for information without having to go to the library,” she said.
A former soldier, Shahimi Othman, 62, said the implementation of the NFCP project could narrow the digital divide between urban and rural folks, particularly in Jasin.
“At present, although the Internet facility is already available here, the speed is quite slow,” he said.
The NFCP project which combines the use of optical fibre and wireless connectivity aims to provide 98% baseline coverage in inhabited areas by 2023 with a minimum bandwidth of 30Mbps.
It was reported that through the NFCP, the Government is aiming to ensure that the people have access to HSBB services at affordable prices, as well as support the development of the digital economy and the Industrial Revolution 4.0.