25 May 2010
P1 COMPLETES WORLD’S FIRST 2.3GHz WIMAX COMMUNITY BROADBAND CENTRES
P1 W1MAX is now available to 3,500 homes in the under-served areas in Peninsular Malaysia with nine Community Broadband Centers launched to aid the community in broadband and Internet education.
PETALING JAYA - Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (“P1”) in its mission to provide broadband for all; completed the world’s first 2.3GHz WiMAX Community Broadband Centres (CBCs) a week ahead of schedule.
“P1 lives and breathes our mission of ‘Broadband for All’. With the strong support from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in this public-private sector partnership, we’re able to speedily deploy what we believe is the world’s first 2.3GHz WiMAX CBCs in Malaysia,” said Michael Lai, Chief Executive Officer. He added that this noble endeavour is very much in line with the national goal of reaching 50% national household broadband penetration by the end of 2010. Malaysia’s household broadband penetration is currently at 33%.
This maiden project by P1 called for the provision of WiMAX broadband services to some 3,500 homes and over 21,000 settlers in the Federal Land Development Authority or FELDA settlement areas under the Universal Service Provision Fund. The nine CBCs that now have P1 W1MAX broadband are in the under-served areas in the states of Perak and Kedah in Sungai Behrang, four different points on Gunung Besout, Trolak Utara, Sungai Klah, and Ijok in Perak as well as one zone on Gunung Bongsu in Kedah.
P1 was commissioned to the project on 30 November 2009 to provide WiMAX broadband access for at least 5 years. The company began its deployment at the beginning of 2010 and established all nine CBCs on 16 March. The CBCs were then inspected and fully approved for operations by MCMC in late March 2010.
“We congratulate P1 on its commitment to not only meet the project deadline, but to actually beat it by a week,” said Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Khalid Ramli, Chairman of MCMC.
“The NBI is a comprehensive strategy in which BBGP is one of its components in terms of broadband demand catering to semi-urban and rural as well as remote areas. The Broadband to General Population (BBGP) has in the past since 2001, been implemented through fixed line technology.”
“Time and again, studies have proven that the increase in broadband penetration has a positive effect on the economic growth of a state and a country as a whole. When considering a suitable broadband solution for these unconnected parts of Kedah and Perak, under the new NBI, BBGP was expanded and innovated upon through new wireless technology like 3G/HSPA and WiMAX which are effective in delivering broadband access to more areas faster, especially in remote and underserved areas within geographically diverse locations. By the end of this year, under the BBGP, 25 districts will be covered with WiMAX facilities.”
Lai informed that the fully completed CBCs are receiving overwhelming response from the community since its completion. The centres are frequented by a daily average of 50 visitors. A large number of the visitors are students who visit the centre to conduct online research for their school projects, homework and networking with friends. The services offered at the CBCs include P1 W1MAX broadband access, basic ICT-related skills training, printing as well as scanning services.
Lai further explained that WiMAX excels in first-time user acceptance, as it is a fully plug and play service, has no need for phone lines, is affordable and offers superior user experience in these areas.
“P1’s service deployment there indicates there is demand for broadband. We believe the availability of 4G P1 W1MAX in these settlements will contribute positively to the development and progress of the local industries especially eco-tourism, industrial agriculture and cottage industries,” Lai noted.
“Bridging the digital divide is not only about rolling out the connectivity to the rural areas. It is also about making the Internet connectivity relevant, useful and easy to use for the people who have previously not been exposed to the wonders of cyberspace,” he concluded.