Archive for April 23rd, 2007

Extended C-Band spectrum mess by MCMC

The Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications has recently created havoc among wireless broadband providers with its proposal to violate the National Broadband Plan (NBP) to revoke licences to broadband service providers to operate on the 3.4-3.6-Gigahertz (GHz) frequency — the extended C-Band spectrum.

Ten days ago, the Minister concerned, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik said use of the extended C-band frequency by the wireless broadband providers was interfering with the operations of the Measat-3 communications satellite.

He blamed the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) which had given out the licences for the predicament.

Seven FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) broadband operators i.e. Airzed, AtlasONE, eB Tech, Nasioncom, TTDotCom, Maxis Broadband and TM who are now operating between spectrum 3.4 — 3.6 GHz – the extended C-band spectrum licensed to them by the Regulator (MCMC) since 2003 – are now seeing their total investment of over RM400 million going down the drain, threatening the ricebowls of some 400 workers, as well as scuttling their investment plans for some RM300 million in the next 24 months!

These companies are operating mainly in Klang Valley. In a presentation with broadband industry players, MEASAT told them on 5th April 2007 that the continued use of the 3.4 –3.6 GHz band by FWA services will have catastrophic impact on the viability of the MEASAT-3 satellite, MEASAT and the wider Malaysian ICT industry.

MEASAT claimed that they had requested MCMC to clearly and promptly reconfirm the priority given to them in the 3.4 –3.6 GHz band, seek alternative frequency bands for FWA services and migrate these services to allow MEASAT to use the entire 3.4 –3.6 GHz band before Q4 2007.

MEASAT also claimed that MCMC had in 2003 assured MEASAT that the 3.4 –3.5 GHz extended C-band frequency band would be cleared of FWA services within 5 years (by Q4 2007) and will be given to MEASAT.

If MEASAT has its way, then probably all the seven FWA broadband operators will have to shut down their existing operations which are clearly against the public interest for four reasons: Read the rest of this entry »


Ijok money-politics and electoral corruption – worst in 50 years of by-elections

In a Mingguan Malaysia interview yesterday, the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman challenged the general perception that the Election Commission is not fair, independent and transparent in the discharge of its constitutional mandate to conduct elections.

Rashid is defending the indefensible as the Election Commission’s record is a history of unmitigated and abysmal failure to conduct free, fair, transparent and clean elections and the “sins” of the Election Commission are long and ignominous.

How can the Election Commission claim to have conducted fair and transparent elections in the past and the present when such blemishes as the following continue unaddressed:

  • Opposition parties not allowed to send polling agents to supervise the casting of postal ballots by members of the police and security forces to ensure free and fair casting of votes.
  • The huge presence of “phantom” voters.
  • Inability to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive electoral roll with the highest possible percentage of eligible voters on the electoral register as there are at present 4.9 million eligible but unregistered voters.
  • Prohibit unfair, dishonest and one-sided media coverage, whether print , radio or television during the election campaigns, such as “below-the-belt” and unethical cartoons, write-ups, broadcasts and telecasts and the “fear and scare” advertisements against the Opposition.
  • Prohibit money politics, not only by candidates but also by political parties.
  • Prohibit abuse of government resources and funds during election campaigns. Read the rest of this entry »