By: Michelle Liew
Several rural areas in Selangor that previously faced poor Internet access problems that affected Home Teaching and Learning (PdPR) sessions, were successfully overcome after upgrading communication towers and installing wireless broadband access through the implementation of the National Digital Network Plan (JENDELA).
Selangor Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) director Rizal Abd Malek said through JENDELA, several locations of existing communication tower structures in the state had been upgraded from 2G to 4G technology as well as the installation of wireless broadband access, so that the surrounding community could get more good coverage.
“The implementation of JENDELA in Selangor has reached almost 100 percent, and even broadband services in rural areas in the state have now been enhanced with the addition of 17 new towers, including seven in Orang Asli villages.
“For the upgrade done in the Sungai Judah Orang Asli Village, Carey Island near here, the coverage and ‘broadband speed’ in this village has increased from 10 megabits per second (Mbps) to 78 Mbps. It is something very encouraging.
“With improvements like this, we can bridge the digital divide between the rural and urban population. The problem of student learning here also no longer arises,” he said.
The National Digital Network or JENDELA is a comprehensive digital infrastructure provision plan aimed at providing quality fixed and mobile Internet services to consumers.
According to Rizal, there are almost 7,000 communication tower structures in Selangor so far with 13 towers still under construction and 17 towers to be built in rural areas including in Orang Asli villages.
“Apart from the construction of the towers, we have also installed wireless broadband access in five Orang Asli villages,” he said.
For Universiti Malaysia Kelantan student majoring in Bachelor of Heritage Studies, Rokna Zaidi, 23, the implementation of JENDELA in her settlement area, in Pulau Carey made it easier for her to attend online lectures smoothly.
“It used to be a little difficult, because I had to go to town to get network coverage, now sitting at home I can follow classes smoothly without any restrictions. University assignments can also be submitted easily.
“I want to thank the government through MCMC for providing this service which greatly facilitates the affairs of the community here, especially students like me,” she said.
Apart from that, Tok Batin of Pulau Kepams Kampung Orang Asli Raman Pahat expressed his gratitude to the government and MCMC for upgrading the tower and installing wireless broadband access in his village which helped launch the daily activities of the residents including the PdPR process and marketing handicraft products online.
Raman said previously there were many complaints and grievances from the villagers about the problem of following the PdPR due to the lack of network coverage in the village.
“There is no Wi-fi (wireless broadband access) facility here, the children of this village have to go to Banting town to send assignments or do schoolwork. It is 10 kilometers from this village, so parents are worried if something undesirable happens.
“Now I see that after the installation of Wi-fi, many people come here (the hall that houses the Internet substation) to bring their children to do homework and schoolwork. In addition, the villagers are also seen to have started doing business online to market their handicraft products. respectively.”