Internet can empower people, says Gobind

Connectivity among the people through the Internet medium can empower people to a better life, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said today.

He said the Internet now played a role in changing the pattern of important fields such as education, the economy and medicine towards empowering people and the world population globally.

Hence, he said, the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) pilot project here was the first step of the ministry to connect the people across the country by providing high-speed and quality broadband services.

“We have a lot of work to do, and we have a lot of catching up to do; I’m very committed to ensuring that we achieve (these) in the months to come. If we can connect all Malaysians via the Internet, I am sure we can empower our people,” he told a press conference here.

Earlier, Gobind launched the NFCP pilot project. Also present were Melaka Communications, Multimedia, Youth Development and Sports Committee chairman Kerk Chee Yee; Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie; Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman (MCMC) Al-Ishsal Ishak and Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang.

The NFCP project, which combines the use of optical fibre and wireless connectivity, targets the achievement of 98 per cent baseline coverage in inhabited areas by 2023 with a minimum bandwidth of 30 Mbps.

The key role of achieving the plan has been entrusted to the Communications and Multimedia Ministry led by Gobind who wants to see Internet connectivity in Malaysia enjoyed by everyone anywhere and at any time.

The NFCP pilot project is being implemented by TNB in three areas of Jasin, namely Felda Tun Ghafar Kemendor, Taman Merbau and Taman Maju.

Gobind said that though the government, through the ministry, had set the policy to provide high-speed and quality broadband services through the NFCP at affordable prices to the people, the telecommunications companies should play a role in realising this desire.

“We are in the midst of having discussions (with the telcos). I feel they should play a role to build this system together. They are knowledgeable and experienced (in the field). They should have discussions and share experiences,” he said.

Gobind said infrastructure development proved to be an impediment to expanding access to high-speed broadband Internet for the people and hoped that the NFCP pilot project would enable those involved to look at infrastructure development and provision of the service at a lower cost.

“Many places in Malaysia still do not have the infrastructure (for high-speed broadband Internet). The question is how we want to connect these places quickly and at a lower cost. We have asked for the cooperation of TNB,” he said.

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