Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is more than just an electric utility company. Apart from supplying electricity for Peninsular Malaysia, the company has the means to provide broadband on their existing infrastructure.
To support the government’s National Connectivity Plan, TNB is kicking off a pilot project in Jasin, Melaka which aims to provide faster, cheaper and wider internet accessibility for Malaysians. This will be a new High Speed Broadband (HSBB) network and it could connect underserved areas that are not covered by existing fibre broadband providers.
This pilot project aims to assess the technical, safety and commercial viability of using TNB’s existing infrastructure for internet connectivity. It will begin starting this month and it is expected to be completed by end of 2018. The initiative will cover 1,100 out of 4,300 homes in Taman Merbau, Taman Maju and Felda Kemendor, located in Jasin.
According to TNB’s Chairman, Tan Sri Leo Moggie, these households will gain access to high speed broadband through TNB’s fibre optics which are part of the company’s existing telecommunications network. He added that TNB’s fibre optics network is an integral part of their electricity grid operation’s design and it’s currently utilised to ensure high reliability of electricity supply nationwide.
With this pilot project, TNB aims to explore the potential of using its telecommunication assets for the National Connectivity Plan without compromising on safety, security and reliability of its electricity supply network.
TNB was invited to participate in the NCP to help expedite the program with full support of the Ministry of Communication & Multimedia Malaysia (MCMM) and the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC).
According to Leo Moggie, this project is also used as a platform to test the concept of Open Access. This could stimulate participation from new and existing providers in backhaul and retail broadband. Hopefully, it could create new competition that could bring down prices of broadband for all. The outcome from this pilot project which is supported by the Melaka state government will help TNB determine the commercial viability for a larger NCP participation nationwide.