MCMC to roll out 6 projects under NFCP for RM3b

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 28): The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is set to implement six projects at an estimated RM3 billion under the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) for the year 2020, following the Economic Stimulus Package 2020 announcement on Feb 27.

In a statement today, MCMC said the NFCP intends to reduce the digital divide through the expansion of coverage and improvements in the quality of both fixed and mobile broadband, whilst laying the foundation for new 5G networks.

MCMC added that the six NFCP projects are aimed at improving digital connectivity throughout the country, and the sum invested for these projects through the Universal Service Provision (USP) Fund also serves to ensure sustained public investments into the industry.

It said the total cost will be fully funded by the USP Fund, which is under the stewardship of MCMC.

MCMC said the six NFCP projects encompass the provisioning of public cellular and fixed broadband services across the country, which will ultimately uplift the socioeconomic well-being of the rakyat.

It explained that there will be direct benefits to the entire ecosystem comprising communications service providers, local contractors, infrastructure and equipment manufacturers and solutions providers.

The NFCP will spur investments and innovations in related industries as well as create new job opportunities, which MCMC estimates to be about 20,000 over the five-year implementation period, starting in 2019.

MCMC said NFCP 1 began implementation on Feb 15 and NFCP 2, which is currently pending submission of proposals from eligible licensees, will result in an expansion of public cellular services in various states throughout the country.

Meanwhile, NFCP 3 targets the provisioning of fibre optic broadband access networks and services, with speeds of up to 500Mbps in 100,000 commercial and residential premises.

It said these premises are located within 74 towns in suburban and rural areas. The areas identified include Kudat (Sabah), Serian (Sarawak), Labis (Johor), Sekinchan (Selangor), Baling (Kedah), Lenggong (Perak), Bera (Pahang) and Bachok (Kelantan).

MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak said investments into the digital infrastructure is imperative as the country enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in order to stimulate the national economic growth as well as provide better opportunities for Malaysians in the digital economy.

“It is also vital to spur the local economy in view of the challenging times due to issues such as the Covid-19 outbreak and global economic uncertainties,” he said.

Al-Ishsal said MCMC is also working with the communications and multimedia industry to develop more initiatives that would directly benefit consumers, and will make announcements on these initiatives in due course.