TelBru urged to make WiFi access more widespread for customers

National 2 minutes, 17 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE communications minister yesterday urged TelBru to extend its national WiFi service from its existing 50 locations to enable all customers to enjoy Internet access anytime anywhere.

In his keynote speech at TelBru’s second graduation ceremony, Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat said he believes “infrastructural upgrading would enable people in this country to reach average Internet speeds higher than the current 10Mbps that are comparable to other countries in the region.”

What is more challenging, he said, is that we ought to be concerned about the issue of affordability or introducing lower rates to customers who are categorised as ‘light users’, thereby making it possible for more people to gain access at affordable rates.

Only recently, the authorities in America have subsidised access to high speed internet for low income classes, the minister added.

He also reiterated his proposal that efforts towards implementing the Fibre-to-the-Home and High Speed Broadband project be intensified and exceed its target of 40,000 households and businesses this year.

YB Dato Hj Mustappa said his ministry as the government agency responsible for the policy and development of information communications technology (ICT) in the country continues to emphasise on the market stability and development in the ICT sector as well as balanced development.

Towards this end, he said, the ministry continues to be confronted by several challenges, including rapid change of technology and the reality that the sultanate has remained at the receiving end of technology and not as a solution provider.

“Without focusing on research and development, intellectual property relating to ICT registered in the country remains at a low level,” the minister said.

While TelBru continues to play its important role, we need to be alert to the development in other countries where the development taking place is more impressive and inspirational.

This is obvious from the aspect of technology proficiency and as a solution provider, he added.

“Furthermore, local content development is also essential if we want to see the penetration of broadband in the sultanate going up in the near future.

“The desire of the Ministry of Communications to reduce the digital divide will only be attainable through close collaboration between the public and private sectors by placing social and development interests before commercial gains,” he said, adding that one of the initiatives under consideration is the Universal Service Provision and increased accessibility.

“I am sure that by infrastructural improvement and wider service coverage, more opportunities could be created for the growth of ICT enterprises as a significant sector to generate jobs and boost the national economy. This is in line with the vision outlined in the recently-launched ICT White Paper as a strategy toward the realisation of the Brunei Vision 2035,” he said.

The Brunei Times