Malaysian fixed line and broadband provider Telekom Malaysia™ has revealed that it has so far spent approximately MYR1.3 billion (USD 379.9 million) of the MYR11.3 billion it has set aside for the development of the country’s high speed broadband network (HSBB), the Star Online reports. ‘Most of that was spent to develop the core network and to secure international capacity to prepare for HSBB’, said Datuk Zam Isa, TM’s chief executive officer. The next round of investment is expected to be spent on the rollout of fibre optics for the last mile in selected high-density locations within the federal territory and Selangor. Of the total HSBB investment, the Malaysian government will contribute MYR2.4 billion, and TM has said that so far it has claimed back MYR665 million from the state for the project.
Of the 95 exchanges nationwide to be covered by the initial rollout, work has been completed at four, with upgrades already underway at a further 44. The telco expects around 1.3 million premises to have access to HSBB-based services by the end of 2012.
In separate but related news, Bernama reports that TM has claimed that its decision to ink deals with foreign principal vendors to spearhead the rollout of the HSBB project will minimise the risk to local firms, with the telco arguing that the HSBB initiative’s liability for failure can exceed the contract value. ‘It is therefore important that TM directly signs with the principal so that the principal can be directly accountable for this,’ Datuk Zam Isa said in response to criticisms by the Malay Chamber of Commerce that local firms were being overlooked to participate in Class A contracts for the HSBB project. According to the report, as at end of September 2009 TM had awarded HSBB-related contract work worth MYR1.186 billion, with more than 200 local vendors included in those companies successfully selected as partners in the project.