Empowering citizens through digital

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Photo taken in November last year shows Minister of Communications and Multimedia Tan Sri Annuar Musa (facing camera, right) explaining the benefits of the digital economy to villagers during the visit of the “Travel Program connectivity” at Kampung Mongkos in Tebedu, Sarawak.

THE major community initiatives of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) since their inception have always been to bring clear benefits to the people.

Among them are Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) and Pusat Ekonomi Digital Keluarga Malaysia (PEDi).

Preparing the country for 5G technology

JENDELA was set up in September 2020 to provide wider coverage and better quality of broadband experience for the population, while preparing the country for 5G technology.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the learning and teaching process and even some work procedures had to be online or from home to curb the spread of the virus.

By improving digital connectivity, the education sector and the productivity of sectors that were still open during the period of the Movement Control Ordinance (MCO) had benefited.

Plus, it had helped keep people in touch with families and friends who had been separated during the pandemic.

Greater improvements in connectivity also meant better opportunities for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to diversify and reach a wider market.

JENDELA is being implemented in a phased approach, towards achieving the national mobile coverage target of 96.9%, 35 Mbps speed and 7.5 million premises served.

For Phase 1 (2020-2022), the goal was to increase 4G coverage from 91.8% to 96.9% and increase mobile broadband speed from 25 Mbps to 35 Mbps. It is also expected that 83% of premises in the country will have access to gigabit fixed broadband speeds. It also includes the phasing out of 3G coverage, followed by an upgrade to 4G and fiberization.

Meanwhile, under Phase 2 (2023-2025), full 5G rollout would follow once the robust platform for 4G coverage is achieved.

JENDELA aims to complete the construction of 1,661 new 4G mobile sites and the fibering of 929,631 premises by the end of 2022.

As of March 31 of this year, only 473,000 premises are to be fiberized while all locations identified for new sites are subject to on-site inspections or surveys.

Meanwhile, Internet access using satellite technology has reached the full target where 839 locations have been installed with Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) which will provide broadband coverage especially in rural areas , notably in Sabah and Sarawak, as well as in the Orang Asli villages.

In addition, a total of 7.027 million locals now have access to high-speed fiber as of today, while 95.7% of all populated areas now have access to 4G network despite anticipated challenges such as geographical conditions. Average mobile broadband speed also increased to 40.13 Mbps, surpassing the original Phase 1 target of 35 Mbps.

From January to March this year, the service providers jointly fiberized 179,666 premises, upgraded 2,217 base stations to 4G technology and built 60 new 4G towers.

MCMC and service providers also handled five high-profile connectivity cases in the first quarter of this year, including one case each in Sarawak and Sabah – namely Kampung Ulak in Limbang and Kampung Mengkapon Darat in Pitas.

Construction of a new mobile tower is also expected to be completed at three (3) locations in Sarawak, Kedah and Kelantan by the end of the year.

Construction of a new mobile tower is also expected to be completed at three (3) locations in Sarawak, Kedah and Kelantan by the end of the year.

Single Center for Digital Economy

PEDi is a one-stop center that collectively provides internet access to communities in areas with poor broadband coverage.

This is part of the government’s initiative to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas with the aim of ensuring that the benefits and ripple effects of communication services can be enjoyed by people and thus, open up opportunities to start online businesses.

To date, there are 911 PEDis located across the country, with 18.9 million people estimated to benefit from their use.

Each PEDi organizes courses and training such as those on ICT, entrepreneurship, multimedia and e-learning.

The center also serves as a platform to increase awareness and community involvement in improving socio-economic status and empowering human capital among poor rural and urban communities.

It aims to train micro-entrepreneurs who use digital, as well as to further intensify the transformation of business digitalization towards innovative and competitive digitalization.

PEDi focuses on efforts to help people generate income through e-commerce through strategic partnerships with government and private agencies.

The focus on digital transformation is a major agenda for rural communities and the urban poor to empower themselves for economic activities and increase their income through digital economic activities.

To date, 25,136 entrepreneurs have participated in entrepreneurship programs offered by PEDis across the country. Of these, 20,259 entrepreneurs have already started implementing digital transformation and doing business online.

Through the transformation of the PEDi, five transformation initiatives are to be implemented to realize the aspiration to digitize the national economy:

I. Internet Community Centers have been transformed and renamed PEDi; Establish an advisory committee comprising the local community in each PEDi.

ii. The main objective of this advisory committee is to encourage and provide opportunities for the various stakeholders in the local community to engage in activities related to the PEDi, as well as to encourage the local community to fully adopt the services and center activities;

iii. Each PEDi will have a “PEDi Entrepreneur Icon” among those who have already succeeded, and who will help and inspire local micro-entrepreneurs;

iv. Six hundred PEDi digital partners will be named in 600 selected PEDi to also help provide information on financial support, train and develop PEDi micro-entrepreneurs, and;

v. The Empowering Micro-Entrepreneurs for Digitization (PUPUK) program to assist in the development of local micro-entrepreneurs in PEDi to reach a wider market.

This will be led by MCMC in collaboration with several government and private agencies.

All programs implemented under PUPUK will be monitored based on the number of entrepreneurs digitized and onboarded to the e-commerce platform, including revenue growth.

All activities carried out under this program will be subject to impact monitoring. The impact translates into an increase in the income of micro-entrepreneurs who have undergone training and support at the PEDi.

The objective is that the average increase in the number of micro-entrepreneurs is not less than 30% compared to the income generated before entering the program of empowerment of micro-entrepreneurs for digitization.

To learn more about these MCMC initiatives, visit https://www.mcmc.gov.my/ Where https://jendela.my/.






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