The government will implement the first phase of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) in eight states including Sabah this year, at a cost of RM290 million, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo today.
He said the first phase, which began on Feb 15, comprises 152 sites, 50 of which will be established in Sabah in the following areas — Nabawan, Tenom, Keningau, Papar, Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Beluran, Tongod, Tuaran, Kudat, Kota Marudu and Pitas.
“The NFCP is a five-year-plan launched in September last year. Under this plan, the government will launch six initiatives comprising NFCP 1 to 6, beginning this year.
“The NFCP initiatives will improve the speed of fixed network broadband services and expand 3G and 4G coverage, while providing the foundation for new 5G networks,” Gobind told reporters after meeting with the public at the Info on Wheels programme held at Pasar Besar Kota Kinabalu here.
Also present was Sabah Information Department director Norzawiyah Bulka.
The minister said the sites to be developed under the first phase of the NFCP would be selected based on broadband needs in a particular area, and his ministry would prioritise areas which had yet to have broadband access, particularly rural areas.
This would enable residents in these areas to access the Internet more efficiently, he said, explaining that the ministry had found that the reach of broadband networks in these areas was not yet at a satisfactory level.
“My ministry is focusing on ensuring that the internet network infrastructure is expanded across the country. The world today is moving towards the digital era … Industry 4.0 (Fourth Industrial Revolution). Therefore, we need to ensure we are ready to face these challenges in the future,” he said.
On a related matter, Gobind said it was anticipated that the initial foundation for the 5G network will be developed in the third quarter of this year, with the focus on industrial areas first due to the high demand for high-speed Internet in these areas.
On the Info on Wheels programme organised by the Information Department, he said it was among the efforts of the government to disseminate information on initiatives launched for the benefit of the public, such as the mySalam National Health Protection Scheme.
He said the programme will be heightened to curb the spread of fake news including that on Covid-19 infections.
A total of 2,599 Info on Wheels programmes have been conducted across the country since its introduction on Jan 23 this year, and of this number, 286 have been held in Sabah.