The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia has announced that the implementation of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) has been approved by the Malaysian Cabinet. The plan which aims to provide nationwide connectivity that is robust, pervasive, high-quality and affordable to all Malaysians is expected to cost RM21.6 billion across five years (2019-2023).
According to Communications and Multimedia Minister, Gobind Singh, the NFCP focuses on fibre networks to enable greater digital connectivity. However, alternative technologies such as wireless networks and satellite technology will be deployed whenever conducive. This will be done in line with the “Shared Prosperity” initiative where Malaysians in rural areas will be able to enjoy high-quality and high-speed broadband.
NFCP to deliver Gigabit speeds in all state capitals
The NFCP targets to provide an average speed of 30Mbps in 98% of populated areas and Gigabit speeds in selected industrial areas by 2020 and in all state capitals by 2023. The Minister said that the effort will enhance the economic competitiveness especially in the following categories:
- State capitals and major cities
- Rural areas and underserved groups to bridge the digital gap
- High-impact areas (e.g. Industrial areas)
- Mobile coverage areas without fibre connection to telecommunication towers (to support 3G, 4G and 5G services)
- Schools, hospitals, libraries, police stations and post offices
- FELDA community and indigenous community
- Sectors such as small and medium enterprises, education, health and agriculture as well as major transport facilities
The RM21.6 billion will be funded through the provision of the Universal Service Provision (USP) Fund that’s regulated by the MCMC. Service providers in Malaysia are obligated to contribute 6% of its weighted net revenue that exceeds the RM2 million threshold to the USP Fund. The methods of financing via the USP Fund that would be considered include full fund, matching fund or partial fund to eligible parties. The financing methods aim to help the expenditure of the service provider and the cost savings will benefit consumers through the provision of affordable services.
The Government hopes that through the NFCP, the living standards of the people will improve and new business models will emerge, leading to more high-paying job opportunities and career prospects. A launch ceremony of the NFCP is expected to take place in mid-September.
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