MCMC seeks aid of state government bodies to ease regulatory measures to speed up NFCP deployment

  • Technology
  • Thursday, 05 Sep 2019

Ishsal urges state government bodies to share their challenges as well as wishlist on ways to improve Internet connectivity in their respective states. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

CYBERJAYA: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak hopes that state government bodies can look into easing some regulatory measures to help push forward the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP).

A telecommunication company, for instance, is required to submit up to 15 to 20 forms for the approval to set up a tower in some states, he said.

"If you can loosen part of your regulatory processes and consider lowering some fees, we can invest faster and more in the states, along with the telcos," he added.

Ishsal explained that part of the estimated RM21.6bil allocation for NFCP will go towards developing state infrastructures in Malaysia.

He also urged local state government bodies to share their challenges as well as Internet connectivity wishlist with MCMC so solutions can be worked out together.

"It's both a push and pull process. We push through our lofty ambitions and targets while the states are pulling because they too want to improve the infrastructure," he said.

MCMC chief development officer Bawani Selvaratnam clarified that the regulatory body has no intention of taking away the authority of the local state councils.

"We need to accelerate deployment of infrastructure. They can help us find a way to do it best. For example, they can consider waiving for a temporary period of time certain fees. That would be useful to us," she said.

NFCP, which kicks off this year, is a five-year plan to offer nationwide digital connectivity that is high quality and affordable for all Malaysians across the urban and rural divide.

MCMC outlined seven key targets for NFCP, including the availability of entry-level fixed broadband package at 1% of GNI (gross national income) per capita by 2020; gigabit speeds in selected industrial areas by 2020 and to all state capitals by 2023; and improving the mobile coverage along the Pan Borneo Highway upon its completion.

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MCMC , Al-Ishsal Ishak , NFCP


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