While it might not be known to most consumers out there, Tenaga Nasional (TNB) actually owned an extensive network of fiber throughout the country that runs through its transmission lines and main substations. Currently being used for the company’s supervisory control and data acquisition systems, TNB is now considering to utilize the network in a much broader manner.
This include being used as part of the 2017-2019 Nationwide Fiberization Plan (NFP) that was announced back in March this year. For this particular purpose, TNB has stated that it is currently in discussion with several main infrastructure companies including Telekom Malaysia (TM) and TIME Internet in order to deliver the project.
Given the costs of the project which is estimated to be around RM 10 billion, it is not surprising that TNB is looking to collaborate with other companies to help offset the cost. Furthermore, both TNB and TM already have existing relationship as the co-owners of Fibrecomm Network Sdn Bhd which was established to deliver fibre-based telecommunication network through the power company’s long-reaching infrastructure.
As for TNB’s relationship with TIME Internet, both companies have signed an agreement in 2009 (source is in PDF format) which allows Time to utilize TNB’s fibre network. On the same year, their partnership was expanded even further which then provides TIME with the access to TNB’s poles, ducts, and the permission to install its equipment at facilities owned by the power company.
In theory, TNB should have enough resources, experience, and technical expertise to implement NFP especially if the company is able to rope in other players in the market to deliver the project. However, TNB’s position in the project seems to be rather shaky at the moment after the government recently announced that it has awarded the project to a rather unfamiliar company called Broadnet Networks.
With that, we should be hearing more from not only TNB but also from various other parties that have significant interest in NFP. Of course, what matters the most for us consumers are that NFP is able to be implemented smoothly and ultimately delivers what it supposed to do: better Internet experience at a much affordable or competitive pricing.