KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — As of the third quarter of this year, fibre optics coverage for internet access was made available to 6.43 million premises nationwide, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said this was an additional 1.48 million premises from 4.95 million during the third quarter of last year, following the implementation of Phase One of the the National Digital Network Plan (JENDELA) beginning September 2020.
He said that in terms of mobile broadband speed, this had been increased to 31.34 megabits per second (Mbps)) from 25 (Mbps) and was expected to reach 35 Mbps.
“Expansion of 4G broadband coverage rose from 91.8 per cent to 94.39 per cent in populated areas as of the third quarter of this year,” he said when winding up debate on the 2022 Supply Bill at the policy stage.
On the awarding of tenders under the JENDELA programme, Annuar said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had handed over the Universal Service Provider Appointment Letter and Letter of Intent for Phase 1 of JENDELA to the respective licensees on October 27.
Annuar said work to construct the telecommunication towers involved was being carried out and expected to be completed in stages starting in from fourth quarter of 2022.
However, he said the speed and capability in the implementation of these towers also depended on approvals issued by certain parties such as the state and local authorities (PBT).
“MCMC will work closely with relevant parties at the state level to facilitate matters relating to the implementation and the constructions of the towers,” he said.
Other than the construction of the telecommunication towers and internet access provision via satellite, Annuar said the government would also implement the provision of broadband infrastructure using the Point of Presence (PoP) method.
He said PoP is a fibre optic hub which was one of the alternatives in ensuring that broadband infrastructure network and coverage could be expanded to populated areas.
“A total RM700 million, which was announced during the tabling of Budget 2022, is allocated to the PoP project encompassing 630 areas in close proximity to rural and interior schools and 47 industrial areas in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
Touching on the expansion of telecommunication coverage in Sabah and Sarawak, he said the PoP allocation for Sabah and Sarawak was RM157 million, encompassing coverage for populated areas close to 119 schools.
“Overall, Sabah and Sarawak will receive an allocation of almost RM2 billion for the implementation of this PoP project which will cover 1,436 school areas and their surroundings which will be implemented in phase 1 starting 2022 and phase 2 from 2023 until 2025,” he added.