Telekom Brunei Berhad’s (TelBru) new fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure is expected to eliminate "70 to 80 per cent" of existing problems users currently face when online, according to company executives.
Hj Emran Hj Hasan, general manager of TelBru’s FTTH unit, said the new infrastructure will give TelBru "more control" over the system, which will be much more automated to make it easier for technicians to pinpoint exactly where the faults lie.
Some of the common issues customers have over the years include service interruptions and slow and inconsistent speeds.
"If a customer calls us and says that their modem is spoilt, we can check from our side and see whether it is because of a power failure or a cable issue.
"We will be able to see what exactly is wrong," said Hj Emran.
With a FTTH network, TelBru will be able to give customers a higher level of assurance, he said.
"Previously, (the quality and speed of the connection) depended on the location of the user and we were heavily dependent on the previous infrastructure," he said.
Residents of the national housing scheme in Kg Panaga, Kuala Belait, were the first to take advantage of FTTH connections.
"In Kuala Belait, there are a lot of issues about speed, but people who compared it with their previous experiences in other houses said that it is much smoother for surfing and downloading, everything has been improved," said Han Tien Siew, head of product development and research at TelBru.
Han explained that the next step for the company is to increase public awareness on its plans for the infrastructure upgrade.
"The next stage of the project involves us going to the users’ houses, and we cannot just go into anyone’s houses so that is why we need assistance from the authorities to educate the public and let them know what we are doing," said Han.
Current areas undergoing the infrastructure upgrade include Madang, Berakas, Pulaie, Gadong, Kiulap, Subok and Bandar Seri Begawan.
Fibre optics are currently being attached to electric poles in Madang, which is expected for completion in May.
One of the challenges that the company foresees is upgrading the expertise of its current subcontractors, seeing that the knowledge gap between the old copper infrastructure and FTTH is "huge", said Hj Emran.
"We need a lot of experts in Brunei, and it is a huge transformation of knowledge from copper to fibre, and we are in talks with our sister company to set up a course and provide certification for them," Emran added.
The Brunei Times
Video-conferencing application on the home phone