KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 – The government has and will be implementing a range of initiatives under the Universal Service Provision (USP) programme to improve broadband coverage in rural areas, the Dewan Negara was told Monday. Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari said the its implementation would be done by building more telecommunications towers, Community WiFi, and the 1Malaysia Internet Centres (PI1M).
“As of now, a total of 1.762 million High Speed Broadband (HSBB) ports (six million people) have been installed and tested involving 103 exchanges. This achievement represents 125 per cent of the target set, that is 1.3 million ports,” he said when replying to Senator Datuk Dr Johari Mat during the question-and-answer session Monday.
He said the ministry was also in the midst of implementing the HSBB 2 project with a target of 390,000 premises within the next 10 years (2015-2025) in addition to the suburban broadband project (SUBB) for which a total of 420,000 premises had been targeted in the same period.
Jailani said the total cost of implementing the HSBB 1 project was RM11.3 billion, and and it was done through a public-private partnership (PPP) between the ministry and Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) beginning in 2008, over an 18-year period. He said as at Oct 2015, the total investment made since the HSBB project was implemented, was RM8.6 billion.
Meanwhile, he also said that the 3666 Community WiFi projects had been implemented and was currently under review of whether they should be continued or not, while as many as 612 1Malaysia Internet Centres (PI1M) had been built, while 137 were still being worked on.
For the construction of telecommunications towers, Jailani said a total of 1,000 towers had been installed across the country to expand cellular coverage (Time 3) involving a cost of RM1.5 billion, and it had managed to increase the national coverage to 95 per cent of populated areas.