MCMC: Broadband improvements rolled out at high complaint areas

  • MCMC
  • Friday, 25 Feb 2022

MCMC said the urban districts that filed the most complaints about poor broadband connectivity received over 2,500 upgrades and new sites, as of end 2021. — Bernama

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said over 2,500 network upgrades and construction of new sites have been completed in districts with the most complaints over broadband quality.

During the National Digital Network Plan (Jendela) 2021 summary report, MCMC chairman Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek said a total of 2,661 sites were upgraded, while 86 new sites were constructed, as of Dec 31.

These improvements were made in five districts – Johor Bahru, Seremban, Petaling, Kuala Lumpur and Klang – which recorded the most number of complaints over the course of 2021.

The five districts with the most complaints were all in busy urban areas including Johor Bahru, Seremban, Petaling, Kuala Lumpur and Klang. — MCMCThe five districts with the most complaints were all in busy urban areas including Johor Bahru, Seremban, Petaling, Kuala Lumpur and Klang. — MCMC

He said complaints had seen a downward trend since October (12,903 monthly) down to 9,954 in November and 9,296 in December.

“Complaints are lower now as the MCO has been lifted, resulting in less strain on the network,” he said, referring to how residential areas’ bandwidth became overloaded during the country’s stay-at-home order, but normalised after as usage was split with the office and other commercial areas’ bandwidth.

He added that most complaints were about poor or no 4G coverage.

The months that saw the highest number of complaints were June (44,972) and February (23,585), both months after another round of the MCO was reintroduced.

Jendela exceeded its main digital infrastructure targets with 1,434,142 premises passed with fibre (115.2% of the 2021 target), 13,807 base stations upgraded to 4G tech (110.5% of the target), and 250 new 4G towers (129.5% of target).

However, the devastating floods late last year had affected some of Jendela’s targets including providing broadband coverage via satellite and completely phasing out 3G.

Dr Fadhlullah said areas in Kelantan were inaccessible due to flooding, while delivery of equipment to Pahang was delayed after a supplier’s factory and warehouse were also flooded.

Meanwhile, 50,486 3G carriers or around 20% of remaining 3G stations were not phased out due to flooding and monsoon weather, with the new target set to March 31 this year.

“With Malaysians, many will always wait until the last moment to change. We’ve had people say they’ll wait until the service is shut down before moving (to 4G),” said the chairman, referring to how customers responded when contacted about the imminent shutdown, initially planned for Dec 31, last year.

Currently 21% or about 1.65 million telco customers are still on 3G.

The MCMC had announced back in 2020 that it would be sunsetting 3G services to refarm spectrum for newer generation broadband.

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