Bandar Baru Permyjaya – 1st Township with Unlimited Broadband Wifi

MIRI: The Government and the private sector must work closely together to achieve the common goal of delivering effective and efficient communication services to the people, especially the rural folks.

It is only with such cooperation that Malaysia will be able to achieve an internet penetration rate of 50 per cent in 2008 and 75 per cent by 2010. Minister of Energy Water and Communications, Dato’ Seri Lim Keng Yaik pointed out in his address while jointly launching Miri Wifi City “Broadband Unlimited” with Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud at Curtin University of Technology Sarawak campus yesterday.

He explained that the goals were specified under the National Broadband Plan (NBP) which was approved by the government in October 2004.

“During the initial year, implementation of the Plan rested mainly on the public sector. The situation has now changed, with the private sector implementing most of the projects under the Plan,” added Lim.

He said his ministry emphasised the importance of the NBP by prioritising the provision of high speed broadband infrastructure as the first “milestone” service under the MyICMS 886.
He pointed out that high speed broadband infrastructure would spur high speed internet connectivity anytime and anywhere regardless of whether the user was mobile or stationary.

“MyICMS 886 pinpoints that the driving force of the high speed broadband service will be the abundant availability of multimedia content and application services which are delivered on the internet.

“With this key broadband service in place, the ability to provide all other essential services including digital homes, short range communications, VoIP via the Universal Services Provision (USP) comes into play, riding on multiple platforms of hard and soft infrastructure,” Lim added.

The Minister was happy to see that Sarawak was taking up the NBP challenge to provide high speed broadband services not only for Miri City but also to underserved and rural areas in order to bridge the digital divide.

“Such level of commitment serves as catalyst to realise the Prime Minister’s Human Capital and Chief Minister of Sarawak’s knowledge-based economy and K-Society visions,” he said.

Lim was also pleased that Miri, a Malaysian city in Sarawak, had joined the ranks of other WiFi cities in the world like Auckland, Bologna, Corpus Christi, Luxor, Orlando, Philadelphia and Mexico City.

“I am glad the State Government is being proactive in pushing for these objectives to be met. I also believe that it is especially in states like Sarawak that the new opportunities exist,” he remarked.

Lim pointed out, for example, that the deConnexion project in Sarawak was a state-wide broadband service that was being deployed at the moment in stages.

“Through this project, the State Government is clearly demonstrating its commitment towards bridging digital divide between urban and rural areas, with aggressive and extensive roll outs,” he said.

Lim was impressed that within a short period of time, deConnexion was now available to Sarawak residents in urban areas like Miri, Kuching and Sibu and in rural, underserved areas like Mukah, Betong, Debak, Matadeng, Tanjung Manis and Semop.

He was also impressed that deConnexion wireless broadband access service was offered free for two years to users until the end of this year.

“This aggressive strategy further drives the success of the project as it encourages more and more people to sign up and get connected to the World Wide Web. Through this means, deConnexion is helping to increase the usage rate of high speed broadband in Sarawak,” he said.

Lim believed the project implementors had undertaken great challenges in attempting to overcome deployment difficulties in Sarawak due to its diverse geographical conditions.
Even so, the success of connecting so many areas within only nine months of operation served as an example to other project implementors who were intending to participate in the nationwide roll out of high speed broadband services.

Such encouraging response and initiative from the private sector was vital towards ensuring that the national target was being achieved, Lim added.

He congratulated the Government of Sarawak and the two companies – Sacofa and Danawa Resources – for spearheading the high speed broadband service coverage in the State.

In view of that, Lim said he was looking forward to hearing more about such private public sector initiatives in Sarawak.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu anak Numpang, Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development of Communication Lee Kim Shin, Chairman of Multimedia Communication Commission Malaysia Datuk Dr. Halim Shafie, Chairman of Danawa Resources Sdn Bhd Datuk Abdul Hamed Sepawi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ir Abang Jemat Abang Bujang and other invited guests.

(News content taken from Eastern Times online)

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