As first reported on the MalaysianWireless Facebook page on May 11, 2019 (last Saturday), the Penang State Government with Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) held a meeting with the chief executives of the country’s major telecommunications companies to discuss the development of telecommunications infrastructure in the state.
The discussion was focused on the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), an initiative by the Malausia Government to provide the people with “robust, pervasive, high quality and affordable digital connectivity”.
According to MCMC, the meeting was very significant and historic as it was the first time a tripartite meeting was held by a state government with major telecommunications companies and the MCMC as the regulatory body of the country’s communications and multimedia industry.
Following the meeting, the Penang State Government introduced the Penang Connectivity Master Plan in line with the Penang 2030 vision of a smart state. A Special Task Force chaired by Y.A.B. Chow Kon Yeow, Penang Chief Minister will be formed for the co-ordination, planning and implementation of all matters relating to telecommunications in Penang.
In a media statement, MCMC said welcomes the Penang Connectivity Master Plan and hopes that other state governments can also formulate such plans that could contribute to the achievement of the NFCP’s goal of upgrading the quality of connectivity and improving the country’s economic competitiveness.
Moving forward, MCMC hopes to foster closer co-operation with all state governments in the country in its efforts to facilitate the development of digital infrastructure in support of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP). High-level meetings will be held in the coming weeks with senior officials from the Perak, Sarawak, Kedah, Melaka and Selangor state governments.
MCMC Chairman, Al-Ishsal Ishak said, close co-operation is necessary to ensure effective implementation of initiatives under the NFCP, including to increase connectivity, so that the “rakyat” will be able to enjoy better broadband coverage and quality, whilst ensuring continued growth of the local communications and multimedia industry.
Among NFCP targets include:
- Entry-level fixed broadband package at 1% of GNI by 2020
- Gigabits availability in selected industrial areas by 2020 and to all State Capitals by 2023
- 100% availability for premises in State Capitals and selected high impact areas with a minimum speed of 500Mbps by 2021
- 20% availability for premises in sub-urban and rural areas with up to 500Mbps by 2022
- Fibre network passes 70% of schools, hospitals, libraries, police stations and post offices by 2022
- Average speed of 30Mbps in 98% of populated areas by 2023
- Improve mobile coverage along Pan Borneo highway upon completion
Most of these targets can only be achieved through close co-operation between MCMC, the industry and state governments, it said.
The national broadband penetration rate for every 100 households grew from 117.3% to 121.1% in 2018, of which 36.8 million subscribers were recorded for mobile broadband compared with only 2.66 million fixed broadband subscribers.
“Fixed broadband subscription rates are still low compared to mobile broadband, and in this regard, the government with the co-operation of state governments hopes to catalyse the development of digital infrastructure that can support the availability of high speed broadband in the whole country. This is consistent with NFCP’s objective of providing the rakyat with a robust, pervasive, high quality and affordable digital connectivity for the well-being of the people and progress of the country”, added Al-Ishsal.
”Within this context, the Government through MCMC and the industry is committed to giving its full support to state governments in developing an inclusive digital infrastructure at an efficient cost, as well as sharing industry best practices.”