TEMBURONG – Over 600 households in the Rataie National Housing Scheme now have access to high-speed broadband, following the installation of fibre optic cables in the most populated area of Temburong.

The fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections will provide residents with internet speeds of up to 300mbps, as Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru) looks to “alternative technologies” to connect some of the more challenging areas in the heavily-forested Temburong District.

In a speech during the launching ceremony of the internet service, TelBru’s Board Lead, Ahmad Jefri Abdul Rahman said that Kg Rataie is the second cluster of Temburong residents to receive FTTH.

Telbru Board Lead, Ahmad Jefri Abdul Rahman, giving a speech at the launch of their Rataie Exchange facility on March 5, 2019. Photo: Hazimul Wa’ie/The Scoop

“The Rataie connectivity is the second phase of installations following the first connected cluster in Bangar town in August of last year, where commercial entities within the town have become the main benefactors of high-speed internet,” he said.

So far, only a handful of residents have been connected to the grid, with TelBru aiming to connect all of Rataie’s 670 residents by the end of March.

He said that the installment of the FTTH is a “pivotal moment” in the district’s history, which previously relied on e-speed, a broadband internet access that is delivered through copper cables with speeds of 1 to 5mpbs.

Ahmad Jefri added that with the services provided, residents of Kg Rataie will be able to choose one out of 15 subscription plans, with the cheapest from as low as $25 a month with a maximum speed of 10mbps.

“As we all know, the availability of high-speed broadband can bring plenty of benefits to the development of a country’s community.”

Nurul Munjiatul Athirah, one of the first Rataie residents to receive Telbru’s fibre optic connectivity, in an interview with The Scoop. Photo: Hazimul Wa’ie/The Scoop

According to a World Economic Forum report, faster internet speeds have shown a positive impact on a country’s economy, resulting in an increase in per-capita GDP growth by up to 0.3 percent.

“For Brunei Darussalam, this service will help foster the development of many areas including business and entrepreneurship, increased productivity as well as opening more job opportunities to local residents,” he said.

Present to officiate the launch of the high-speed broadband service was Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, YB Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yusof.

The minister then proceeded to visit several sites in the area to inspect the newly-installed fibre optics infrastructure, as well as some of the residents who have been connected to the grid. 

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, YB Abdul Mutalib (C), visiting one of Telbru’s infrastructure sites in Temburong on March 5, 2019. Photo: Hazimul Wa’ie/The Scoop