M'sian state to get broadband boost

Selangor state government awards 25 million ringgit (US$7.3 million) contract to connect 345 offices and related agencies with new broadband infrastructure.

SELANGOR--Malaysia's Selangor state government has awarded a 20-year concession to local technology provider Obnet, to connect government offices and related agencies with a state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure.

Formerly called Intelligent Edge Solutions and a subsidiary of Kannaltec, Obnet will design, install, operate and maintain a data center and all broadband-related services at 345 designated state government offices by November this year.

The infrastructure, dubbed SelangorNet (SelNet), will connect all of the Malaysian state's government departments, statutory bodies, municipals, local authorities and government-linked companies, and is aimed at enabling these organizations to utilize voice, video and data services. The network will also support applications such as video-conferencing, surveillance monitoring and disaster recovery.

Obnet Chairman Yusof Ampuan Kechil said: "Obnet will enable government departments and state-run agencies to seamlessly connect with each other."

Fong Wai Leong, head of corporate planning at Kannaltec, said 25 million ringgit (US$7.3 million) has been budgeted for the project which is divided into two phases.

"Phase one will see Obnet equipping 112 of the 345 government offices with network gear and the expansion of an existing data center by July, while the remaining 233 agencies will be equipped by November," Fong told reporters at a press briefing today.

He added that the project is expected to return up to 26 million ringgit (US$7.6 million) in revenue per annum, depending on whether the government agency subscribes to a 10 megabits per second (Mbps) or 6 Mbps service package.

Obnet also roped in two technology partners, Cisco Systems Malaysia and Telekom Malaysia, which will provide the networking technology and customer premise equipments and the Metro Ethernet services, respectively, to support SelNet.

Karim Mansoor, the Selangor chief minister's political secretary, expressed his desire to see the project up and running by year-end. In his address during the announcement this morning, Karim said: "It is my earnest hope that this project will finally take off as it is long overdue."

Executives from the various companies at the press briefing, which Karim did not attend, were unable to comment on how long the project was delayed and why it was delayed.

Edwin Yapp is a freelance IT writer based in Malaysia.