PETALING JAYA: The Government will implement the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) with an initial allocation of RM1bil, says the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
MCMC said this initial allocation was meant to fund selected infrastructure projects for 2019 to support the NFCP targets, including expanding mobile coverage and providing fibre connectivity to premises.
They said that the RM21.6bil cost cited by Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo was an estimation, and that this figure could change as the NFCP is further refined from time to time.
"MCMC's priority, however, will be to seek cost effective ways of deploying digital infrastructure through optimisation of existing infrastructure, avoiding duplication and leveraging on facilitative policies," it said in a statement on Tuesday (Sept 3).
MCMC claimed that the NFCP is not a mega project but rather is a much-needed and important plan that sets out strategies, targets and action items that will ensure the availability of robust, pervasive, high quality and affordable digital connectivity for the country.
It said that the NFCP implementation would be based on two main pillars.
The first would be a series of infrastructure projects that will either be funded through the Universal Service Provision (USP) Fund or through commercial means by the relevant Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) licensees themselves.
"These infrastructure projects will be undertaken over a period of five years throughout the country and will leverage on different technologies, which among others, include fibre optics, wireless and satellite technologies," it said.
It added that the second pillar involves setting in place the right policies to facilitate deployment of infrastructure nationwide.
"This would include policies which remove barriers that hinder fast and cost effective infrastructure deployment at state level, optimising the use of spectrum to ensure better quality mobile broadband, improving the competitive landscape of the industry, promoting infrastructure sharing and other related policies," said MCMC.
MCMC also said that the NFCP consists of many infrastructure projects, including commercial projects financed by the licensees themselves and that these projects will also utilise different technologies.
They claimed that no specific company dealing with a specific technology can be the biggest beneficiary of the NFCP.
"Neither the government nor MCMC will dictate which technology provider should be selected, as that would be the decision of the licensees. Hence, it is incorrect to name OPCOM as the biggest beneficiary of NFCP," said MCMC.
Gobind had said the five-year plan starting this year will provide nationwide digital connectivity that is high quality and affordable for all Malaysians across the urban and rural divide.