JASIN, Jan 8 — Connectivity among the people through the Internet medium can empower people to a better life, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said today.
He said the Internet now played a role in changing the pattern of important fields such as education, the economy and medicine towards empowering people and the world population globally.
Hence, he said, the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) pilot project here was the first step of the ministry to connect the people across the country by providing high-speed and quality broadband services.
“We have a lot of work to do, and we have a lot of catching up to do; I'm very committed to ensuring that we achieve (these) in the months to come. If we can connect all Malaysians via the Internet, I am sure we can empower our people,” he told a press conference here.
Earlier, Gobind launched the NFCP pilot project. Also present were Melaka Communications, Multimedia, Youth Development and Sports Committee chairman Kerk Chee Yee; Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie; Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman (MCMC) Al-Ishsal Ishak and Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang.
The NFCP project, which combines the use of optical fibre and wireless connectivity, targets the achievement of 98 per cent baseline coverage in inhabited areas by 2023 with a minimum bandwidth of 30 Mbps.
The key role of achieving the plan has been entrusted to the Communications and Multimedia Ministry led by Gobind who wants to see Internet connectivity in Malaysia enjoyed by everyone anywhere and at any time.
The NFCP pilot project is being implemented by TNB in three areas of Jasin, namely Felda Tun Ghafar Kemendor, Taman Merbau and Taman Maju.
Gobind said that though the government, through the ministry, had set the policy to provide high-speed and quality broadband services through the NFCP at affordable prices to the people, the telecommunications companies should play a role in realising this desire.
“We are in the midst of having discussions (with the telcos). I feel they should play a role to build this system together. They are knowledgeable and experienced (in the field). They should have discussions and share experiences,” he said.
Gobind said infrastructure development proved to be an impediment to expanding access to high-speed broadband Internet for the people and hoped that the NFCP pilot project would enable those involved to look at infrastructure development and provision of the service at a lower cost.
“Many places in Malaysia still do not have the infrastructure (for high-speed broadband Internet). The question is how we want to connect these places quickly and at a lower cost. We have asked for the cooperation of TNB,” he said.
Asked when the NFCP pilot project would be launched for the whole country, he said the government was eager to do so as soon as possible but the people must understand that it is a TNB project and the TNB management had to make that decision.
“Of course, for me, I want it to be done as soon as possible but we have to respect the fact that the decision has to be made and discussions have to be held. This will take some time. On whether the price of the subscription package can be lowered, we have to complete expanding the infrastructure first,” he said.
Gobind said the Internet was a basic necessity that should be provided to all the people and not just to any privileged group and it was the government desire to ensure that all the people enjoy the high-speed broadband Internet. — Bernama