Cheaper fixed Internet for 10,000 schools

All hands on deck: Fahmi (centre) being briefed at the telecommunications tower after launching the Bum Bum Island Point of Presence project at SK Balimbang. — Bernama

SEMPORNA: The government will provide high-speed fixed broadband Internet subscription packages for schools under the Education Ministry starting July 1.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said that these special packages will be implemented through the Point of Presence (PoP) project and will offer more stable high-speed internet at a lower price compared with mobile connections.

“Details will be announced, but starting July 1, the 10,000 schools under the ministry will be able to choose faster and cheaper Internet packages.

“The government hopes that this telecommunications infrastructure (PoP) will be utilised effectively by the people, especially in Sabah, to improve living standards, facilitate the teaching and learning process, and explore higher-quality lifestyles,” he said at the PoP programme review at Menara Balimbang, SK Balimbang, Pulau Bum Bum yesterday, Bernama reported.

Fahmi said that his ministry is also considering an additional measure, which is to provide extra access points, as in certain areas, current Internet coverage only goes as far as the teachers’ rooms, school resource centres or computer labs.

“In some places, if necessary, we can help by adding several other access points.

“I ask the Communications Ministry and the Education Ministry to look into this and I am ready to assist,” he added.

Moreover, Fahmi said that the PoP project for rural and remote schools such as SK Balimbang is intended to serve as a hub for providing fibre-optic broadband infrastructure, enabling the surrounding community to enjoy more stable high-speed broadband services.

He added that a total of 437,000 premises will be equipped with high-speed broadband infrastructure services when this project is completed.

This benefit will be achieved through the implementation of PoP Phase One with 630 planned PoPs and Phase Two with 3,693 planned PoPs, said Fahmi.

“As of May 2024, a total of 1,044 PoPs out of 4,370 PoPs have been completed, including 59 PoPs fully completed in Sabah,” he said.

Fahmi said this high-speed fibre optic broadband infrastructure support will enhance the learning process in schools by providing access to extensive information and references, making it easier for knowledge to be shared and practised.

“Additionally, this initiative will provide opportunities for the digital economy to grow in rural economies.

“Various activities, including home-based online businesses, can be conducted with more stable, high-quality and comprehensive Internet access.”

He said the speed of the Internet service provided will set a benchmark for the use of modern technology related to infrastructure and utilities such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, smart grids and others, which can improve quality of life.

“In the past, the islands in Malaysia were still categorised as remote and difficult to connect.

“Through government initiatives and the latest technological developments, there are now several options for connecting fixed lines between islands and the mainland,” he added.

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