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MCMC: Allegations of OPCOM being the biggest NFCP beneficiary not true

There was speculation that OPCOM, a fibre-optic cable manufacturer, would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP). Shortly after the Cabinet had greenlighted the NFCP, OPCOM shares had spiked from 45 sen to 74.5 sen.

The MCMC which oversees the NFCP has issued a clarification on the allegations made. Firstly, the NFCP is not a mega project and it is a plan that sets out strategies, targets and action items to ensure the availability of a robust, pervasive, high quality and affordable digital connectivity for the country.

MCMC has said that the implementation of the NFCP will be based on two pillars. The first will be a series of infrastructure projects that will be funded through the Universal Service Provision (USP) Fund or via commercial means by the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) licensees.

The infrastructure projects will be undertaken for a period of 5 years and it will use a variety of technologies which include fibre optics, wireless and satellite. It added that the RM21.6 billion cost is an estimation and the actual figure may change as the NFCP is further refined from time to time. According to the MCMC, their priority is to seek cost-effective ways of deploying digital infrastructure through optimisation of existing infrastructure, avoiding duplication and leveraging on facilitative policies.

The second pillar is all about placing the right policies to facilitate deployment of infrastructure nationwide. This will include policies that remove barriers that hinder faster and effective infrastructure rollout at the state level and to optimise the use of spectrum.

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MCMC would like to reiterate that the NFCP consists of many infrastructure projects which include commercial projects financed by the licensees themselves which will also utilise different technologies. It added that no specific company dealing with specific technology can be the biggest beneficiary of the NFCP. Neither the Government nor the MCMC will dictate which technology provider should be selected as that would be the decision of the licensees. Based on this, MCMC says it is incorrect to name OPCOM as the biggest beneficiary of the NFCP.

You can learn more about the NFCP here.

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Alexander Wong