Monday, March 27, 2023

National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) approved by Cabinet, will cost RM21.6 billion

The Malaysia Government approved the implementation of National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), an ambitious, multi-billion project, aims to provide nationwide digital connectivity, high-quality and affordable Internet for all Malaysians in urban and rural areas.

National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan NFCP logo

The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) in a statement said that the five-year plan (2019–2023) is expected to cost RM21.6 billion and has been approved by the Malaysia Cabinet.

The main focus of NFCP will be on deploying fibre networks, however, alternative technologies such as wireless networks and satellite technology will also be deployed wherever conducive. This is in line with its ‘Shared Prosperity’ initiative, in which rural areas will be able to enjoy high quality and high-speed broadband access.

The NFCP’s main targets are:

  • Entry-level fixed broadband package at 1% of gross national income (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

NFCP will focus at:

  • State capitals and major cities;
  • Rural areas and underserved groups to bridge the digital gap;
  • High-impact areas, eg. industrial areas;
  • Mobile coverage area without fiber network connection to telecommunication tower (to support 3G, 4G and 5G services);
  • Schools, hospitals, libraries, police stations and post offices;
  • FELDA community and indigenous community;
  • Sectors like small and medium enterprises, education, health and agriculture as well as major transport facilities.

A special task force chaired by the Ministry and comprising related agencies will be set up to coordinate the construction of digital infrastructure in schools, police stations, hospitals and libraries.

KKMM said the RM21.6 billion cost of implementing the NFCP will be funded through the provision of the Universal Service Provision (USP) Fund, regulated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), and commercially by the service providers.

The Ministry said the methods of financing via USP Fund that would be considered are in the form of full fund, matching fund or partial fund to eligible parties. These financing methods will help reduce the expenditure of the service provider and the cost savings will benefit consumers through the provision of affordable services.

KKMM said the launch ceremony of the NFCP project is expected to be held in mid-September 2019. Further details will be given at the briefing.

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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