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28 January 2010

BUILDING CONNECTED COMMUNITIES, USING CONTENT TO ACCELERATE BROADBAND PENETRATION AND ADOPTION

PETALING JAYA - 28 January 2010: Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (“P1”), Malaysia’s first and leading WiMAX telco, today led the discussion at the P1 Expert Net forum on how the development of content can be further accelerated to complement the growth of broadband penetration in Malaysia. Key industry players shared their opinions on the gaps that needed to be closed in building connected communities across Malaysia.

Panellists comprised of James Chong, Chief Executive of ruumzNation Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia’s popular social networking portal (www.ruumz.com); Pete Teo, musician, actor and producer of the P1 Malaysian Filmmaker Showcase 15Malaysia project; Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, Head of Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia Animation and Creative Content Center of the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), and Ken Loa a special guest from the Institute for Information Industry (III), Taiwan.

“It is important for us to recognise the nexus between content creation and broadband adoption. High bandwidth and an efficient all Internet Protocol-based wireless mobile broadband networks such as 4G WiMAX* is a catalyst for the creation and enjoyment of rich multimedia content,” said Michael Lai, P1 Expert Net moderator and Chief Executive Officer, P1.

“Currently, 32 percent of Malaysian households have adopted broadband. One of the ways to further encourage broadband adoption is to have relevant and exciting content catered to specific interests of different people. Therefore, it is important to create more local content that complements the varied lifestyles of Malaysians in order to bridge the relevance gap. This momentum will help Malaysia to achieve the 50 percent household broadband penetration target by end of this year,” said Lai.


The growth of user-generated content

Chong said that user-generated content is achieving a new level of maturity here in Malaysia. “The popularity of social networking sites continues to grow at a phenomenal pace, and along with it, the quantity and quality of user-generated content. The impact this has on the National Broadband Agenda is that the younger generation demands high bandwidth broadband within their homes to access rich multimedia content and perform peer to peer sharing.”

According to panellist Teo, “More and more compelling user-generated content is coming out of Malaysia for Malaysians. People could relate to 15Malaysia because the films addressed current social and political issues. Projects like 15Malaysia help to highlight the positive evolution of locally generated content, bringing it to the attention of the masses that are not already online.” The directors contributing to 15Malaysia frequently use the online medium to showcase their talents. 15Malaysia itself received more than 15 million page views, half a million downloads and over three million video streams.

“Opportunities to dialogue amongst industry opinion leaders and their counterparts in Taiwan are valuable in helping define what needs to be done to accelerate the development of user-generated content locally,” said Hasnul. User-generated content development, comprising of both online and digital content, forms one of MDeC’s core key performance indices (KPIs).

Hasnul was commenting on Loa’s input who shared Taiwan’s robust content strategy. Loa highlighted the importance of private and public sector collaboration in driving content development and discussed how this has helped to entrench Taiwan as a significant player in the global information and communications technology arena.


Local language content creation

Language is another testy barrier to internet adoption. With English being the main language on the internet, it alienates many Malaysians whose primary language of communication is not English, especially those in rural areas. This naturally widens the digital divide gap further between the “haves” and “have-nots” in accessing the rich resource of information on the internet.

The link between language and broadband adoption is reinforced by data collated from P1’s proof of concept P1 Pusat Internet Komuniti at the Felda settlement of Chini Timur, Pahang. As Malaysia’s first community broadband centre that utilises WiMAX, the only 4G technology available today, the centre implements and establishes best practices for building connected communities.

“We’ve implemented several programs on targeted P1 PIK community groups to spur their interest in online content development but learned that it is a challenging task. We also acknowledge that encouraging local content creation within a community is a long-term and continuous effort. Moving forward, we want to continue working closely with the community members to generate more of these,” said Lai.

Key learnings from the P1 PIK are applied to other community broadband centres that P1 is establishing in selected Felda settlements under the Universal Service Provision (USP) project.


About P1 Expert Net

P1 Expert Net provides a platform for dialogue and gathers insights from the broadband industry, the Government and the media on various issues impacting broadband penetration in the country with the ultimate goal of propelling the growth of broadband through devices, networks and applications. This event follows-up on the discussion of the first P1 Expert Net last year, which examined the role of broadband in building connected communities.


About Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.

Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (P1) is Malaysia’s first and leading WiMAX telecommunications company with the country’s widest WiMAX network.

P1 W1MAX represents the first large-scale commercial deployment of mobile WiMAX in Southeast Asia, and the first large-scale deployment of an 802.16e 2.3GHz WiMAX network outside Korea.

P1’s goal is to bridge the digital divide by making access to the internet universal, ubiquitous and affordable for every Malaysian. P1 hopes to play a major part in realizing the nation’s goal – to have 50% broadband penetration by 2010.

P1 is the winner of the Red Herring Asia’s Most Innovative Private Technology Company in 2008 and is listed in the Malaysia Book of Records as Malaysia’s first WiMAX telco (August 2008). In 2009, P1 bagged the MSC Malaysia APICTA Best of Start-Up Companies award.

For more information on P1, visit http://www.p1.com.my/.


About WiMAX

WiMAX is an abbreviation of Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access by the WiMAX Forum. It is a standard-based technology enabling delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL. It is expected to enable quad play (voice, video, internet and mobility).

WiMAX enables deliverables of bandwidth between two points or between a point to multipoint to customer. The usage of WiMAX requires certain bandwidth of spectrum to be allocated to the service provider, in accordance to the channelling plan approved and published by MCMC.