TNB ready to venture into fibre optic infrastructure business

Tenaga Nasional Bhd is prepared to venture into the connectivity business that provides fibre optic infrastructure for high speed broadband. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Tenaga Nasional Bhd is prepared to venture into the connectivity business that provides fibre optic infrastructure for high speed broadband. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is prepared to venture into the connectivity business that provides fibre optic infrastructure for high speed broadband (HSBB), following the successful National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) pilot project in Jasin, Melaka.

Chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie said TNB saw the connectivity business’ potential and is cautiously considering venturing into the area.

“We would be quite prepared to participate in a measured way in selected areas for this connectivity initiative for broadband speed.

“The outcome in Jasin showed that as long as we do not allow third party access beyond a certain point of our grid infrastructure, we are quite comfortable that the security is assured,” he told Bernama in an interview.

He said based on the pilot test, support from the government would be needed if the company wanted to roll out fibre optic infrastructure in rural areas due to the substantial investment required.

“If we want to go into areas similar to that (Jasin), we will need to engage with the government,” he added.

However, he said the company saw pockets of urban areas which lacked high speed Internet access, where TNB could play a role without burdening the government.

Apart from that, he said, as a public listed company, TNB needed to consider the returns from its investments in the connectivity business.

“If we were to participate in this, it should make business sense to TNB,” he said.

As the business required slightly different expertise from its core business of providing electricity, he said, the company also needed to consider human resources capability to manage it.

The NFCP pilot project enabled three residential areas comprising 1,100 households to enjoy Internet speed that reached 1Gbps at an affordable price via broadband service packages offered by the existing eight service providers.

In another development, Moggie said TNB was transforming its headquarters in Bangsar into a campus-type headquarters equipped with an Islamic centre, convention centre, society office and an interactive centre.

He said the new headquarters would have a campus-type atmosphere, including a park for its staff.

“The concept is to reflect what the younger generation would expect going forward,” he said.

The new headquarters would be a green building index (GBI) certified building with a Platinum GBI rating, equipped with solar panel rooftops, automated waste collection system, double-glazed glazing wall, green roof and rainwater harvesting system, among others.

The headquarters is expected to be completed by May 19, 2021, and the Islamic centre on May 31 this year. — Bernama

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