National fiberisation plan not a mega-project - MCMC



The National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) is not a mega project as alleged in some statements spread through social media, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) clarified today.

MCMC said NFCP, which was announced on Aug 28, is actually a much-needed and important plan that sets out strategies, targets and actions items that would ensure the availability of robust, pervasive, high quality and affordable digital connectivity for the country.

“The NFCP implementation would be based on two main pillars. The first would be a series of infrastructure projects that will either be funded through the Universal Service Provision (USP) Fund or through commercial means by the relevant Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) licensees themselves.

“These infrastructure projects would be undertaken over a period of five years throughout the country and will leverage on different technologies, which among others, include fibre optics, wireless and satellite technologies,” MCMC said in a statement here, today.

For the second pillar, MCMC said it involves setting in place the right policies to facilitate deployment of infrastructure nationwide.

“This would include policies which remove barriers that hinder fast and cost-effective infrastructure deployment at the state level, optimising the use of spectrum to ensure better quality mobile broadband, improving the competitive landscape of the industry, promoting infrastructure sharing and other related policies,” MCMC said.

On some viral allegations that the cost of NFCP has increased from RM1 billion to RM21.6 billion since the announcement was first made as part of Budget 2019, MCMC said the government would implement the project with an initial allocation of RM1 billion, which was meant to fund selected infrastructure projects for 2019 to support the NFCP targets, including expanding mobile coverage and providing fibre connectivity to premises.

The plan will develop the country’s broadband infrastructure to ensure more efficient spectrum allocation to achieve the targeted 30 Mbps speed at rural and remote areas in Malaysia within five years as part of the overall plan to achieve world-class infrastructure at affordable prices.

“The overall cost of RM21.6 billion is also an estimation, and this figure may change as the NFCP is further refined from time to time. MCMC’s priority, however, will be to seek cost-effective ways of deploying digital infrastructure through optimisation of existing infrastructure, avoiding duplication and leveraging on facilitative policies,” the statement added.

MCMC also made clear that NFCP consists of many infrastructure projects, including commercial projects financed by the licensees themselves, which would utilise different technologies.

“Neither the government nor MCMC will dictate which technology provider should be selected, as that would be the decision of the licensees.

“Hence, it is incorrect to name Opcom (Opcom Holdings Berhad) as the biggest beneficiary of NFCP,” it added.

- Bernama

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