High-speed broadband soon

Fibre optics will be used to replace copper wires. Picture: BT file

HIGH-SPEED broadband is finally coming to Brunei in about two months. Residents of Madang will be the first to experience ultra-broadband connection through fibre optics by late August this year.

The first phase of Telekom Brunei Berhad's (TelBru) upgrade works on Brunei's network infrastructure from copper to ultra-speed fibre optics is in progress, with the first available ultra broadband service connection to be available in Madang by the third quarter of this year.

Under the Brunei Next Generation Broadband Network (BNBN) project, the network infrastructure upgrade which will deploy fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology will cover four major areas in Brunei and will offer subscribers a maximum data transfer rate of 150mbps (megabits per second) and a more stable and consistent Internet experience.

TelBru announced yesterday that the first phase of the BNBN project will see Madang, Gadong and Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei-Muara District as well as Sungai Liang in Belait District as the first four areas that will have access to the ultra-speed coverage via FTTH technology.

Hj Emran Hj Hasan, head of planning and operation, access network at TelBru, said upgrade works on the distribution point (DP) at each of the four areas are being carried out, and that Madang is expected to be the first area to be ready by late August, followed by Gadong by the end of the year.

"Our scope of work is on infrastructure development, which we call a 'Home Pass', where the upgrade works are basically not done in individual homes but at the area's DP. Residents within range will need to be provided a 'Home Connection' from us in order to have access to the new ultra-broadband connection," he said.

"Once we have completed the works at Madang, we will begin introducing a subscription plan for our customers, at per request, and that's when we go into their homes and make the necessary connections and installation works," he said.

Han Tien Siew, head of product development, marketing and sales division, said TelBru was still finalising the official pricing as well as the branding for the new ultra-broadband service.

He said an official announcement as well as a public awareness campaign on the new service will be made as soon as the 'Home Pass' project at Madang is complete.

"E-speed will still be around. Existing E-speed users within the FTTH coverage who wish to upgrade to a bigger bandwidth can choose to migrate to FTTH," he said.

Han said that fibre optics that will replace the existing copper wires will not only increase Internet speed, but provide better network coverage as well.

"Fibre technology will have coverage that will be more than five kilometres wider than current copper technology. So once we have Madang ready, other areas in Berakas that is close to Madang will be able to establish FTTH connection," he said.

He said that with its virtually unlimited bandwidth, FTTH can go beyond the basics of current Internet technologies to offer truly life-enhancing applications.

"There will be a number of vertical services, from high quality video services such as IPTV, to security and home automation. Once FTTH is fully implemented nationwide, we will see the government taking advantage of FTTH in areas such as e-health and e-education," he added.

Huawei is the main contractor and the exclusive supplier to TelBru for the BNBN project.The Brunei Times

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