Creating healthy rivalry among telco players

Melaka State Communications, Multimedia, Youth Development and Sports Committee chairman Kerk Chee Yee during an interview with Bernama recently. Photo: Bernama

MELAKA: The high-speed Internet broadband infrastructure model developed via the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan’s (NFCP) pioneer project is able to create healthy competition among telecommunications industry players, particularly with network service providers and network fibre providers.

Melaka State Communications, Multimedia, Youth Development and Sports Committee chairman Kerk Chee Yee said healthy competition between telecommunications industry players was important as it creates competition to provide the best services at affordable prices which subsequently benefits consumers.

He said the orderly and sustainable implementation of the NFCP could reduce the cost of installing optical fibre cables as part of the process to provide high-speed Internet broadband services, especially in rural areas, in line with the government’s policy where Internet access is a basic human right and not a privilege for certain groups.

“We have around 30 Internet broadband suppliers in the country that can carry out fibre installation. They have the right to compete among themselves in providing Internet packages based on the quality of the service offered.

“For me, it is important they do not overcharge and the people can afford their high-speed Internet services,” he told Bernama in an interview.

The implementation of the NFCP, which combines the use of optical fibre cables and wireless connectivity, is targeting an achievement of 98 per cent baseline broadband coverage in residential areas by 2023, with a minimum speed of 30 Mbps.

The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia will be taking the leading role to ensure the success of the NFCP, spearheaded by Minister Gobind Singh Deo who wishes to see Internet connectivity in Malaysia is enjoyed by everyone, anywhere and at any time.

The NFCP pilot project is implemented by Tenaga Nasional Bhd in three areas in Jasin near here – Felda Tun Ghafar Kemendor, Taman Merbau and Taman Maju.

Kerk said the main challenge currently faced by the telecommunications industry players in providing Internet services was the sustainability of the industry ecosystem in supplying quality Internet access with wide coverage to the people, and at the same time, provide a positive impact on the business of industry players.

“We are not blaming any parties on this issue because it is a problem within the Internet industry’s ecosystem because the provision of Internet services is a complicated process which involves huge

investments.

“This includes fibre optic cable installation, earthworks and the permits required for these works. I hope the NFCP model will become a mechanism that will bring sustainability to this industry,” he said.

Kerk said the development of a sustainable NFCP could change the local economic and socio-economics structure and bring immediate impact to the lives of people on the whole and in line with the changing digital landscape.

He said prior to this, Internet usage was limited to obtaining information, watch videos online or to communicate, but now, the service could be used for a wider selection of daily activities.

“The Internet is now becoming a necessity, especially in the medical, business, services and government sectors, as it involves the sharing and storing of information through big data and the Internet of Things,” he added. – Bernama