Sabah aims to connect all

Working for a better state: Gobind (centre) explaining Info on Wheels to retailers at the Kota Kinabalu genral market during his visit. — Bernama

KOTA KINABALU: Some 50 locations from the 152 involved in phase one of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) are in Sabah, a reflection of the government’s determination in reducing the Internet connectivity gap between rural and urban areas, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.

The locations where infrastructure will be developed under the initiative are within Nabawan, Tenom, Keningau, Papar, Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Beluran, Tongod, Tuaran, Kudat, Kota Marudu and Pitas, he added.

“We had a meeting with elected representatives around Malaysia last year, where we looked at the requirements of some areas that still did not have connectivity, so we focus on certain areas first.

“In the five-year span, we have a projection and a list of priority areas.

“MCMC (Malaysian Commu–

nications and Multimedia Commission) came up with a detailed list of these areas after a study.

“We want to give connectivity to everyone because we found the outskirts did not really have an effective connectivity, ” he said at the Info on Wheels (IOW) programme held at the city’s main market downtown yesterday.

Launched last September with a RM21.6bil funding, NFCP (2019-2023) aims to boost broadband penetration and coverage of 3G and 4G nationwide, while providing the base to develop 5G implementation.

The plan is divided into six phases or initiatives; the first one, which was started on Feb 15, covers eight states with an allocation of RM290mil.

On the 5G implementation, Gobind said an ongoing study was being done and further details would be announced later this year, adding that the industrial areas may get the service first due to the sector’s greater demands.

On IOW, he said the Information Department started the initiative this year to disseminate information face-to-face to the people on government plans such as mySalam, e-Tunai and PekaB40.

Since Jan 27, however, the initiative has been focusing more on sharing the correct information including preventive measures on Covid-19.

Between Jan 23 and Feb 20, the department conducted 2,599 IOW programmes across the country.

“In Sabah alone, 286 programmes were held, ” said Gobind.

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