Brunei Darussalam’s broadband mobile speed is among the highest in the ASEAN region and based on a study by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in terms of cost on broadband per capita use, the Sultanate is also among the lowest for mobile broadband.
Within one and a half years, the broadband cost in the country has been reduced up to 60 per cent. Despite that, accessibility still needs to be improved.
Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof said this in response to Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii’s query on nationwide cable system and enhancing bandwidth connectivity across the country at the sixth day of the 18th LegCo Meeting yesterday.
Under the national broadband policy, bandwidth is upgraded in line with Digital Economy Masterplan 2025 to give whole coverage in broadband. There has been an increase in mobile broadband in the country. “Although we have the infrastructure, there are several areas especially in the rural areas that need to be improved,” the minister said.
On the issue of reckless and ill-disciplined drivers raised by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Mohamed bin Pengiran Haji Osman @ Othman, the minister said 5 E’s (education, enforcement, engineering, environment and emergency) are emphasised under the National Road Safety Council (MKKJR).
The curriculum at driving schools are improved from time to time while dissemination is also carried out through social media and mass media. Plans are also made by NGOs and members of the private sector in efforts to educate the public.
There is also technology in place to help JPD and Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) enforcement officers as well as a system to facilitate in identifying whether vehicle licence and driving licence are expired.
On the extent to which JPD and other departments use artificial intelligence (AI) to facilitate vehicle and driving licence approval raised by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin bin Haji Johari @ Jahari, “AI is under the radar of the Ministry and the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025. There are applications made at JPD with regards to AI,” the minister said.
The minister added that there are plans to upgrade the Sistem Pengangkutan Darat (SPD) 2.0 taking into account data analytics and AI with the cooperation of government-linked companies (GLC).
In response to LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Emran bin Haji Sabtu on initiatives undertaken by the Land Transport Department (JPD) to enhance public transport in the Temburong District, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib said there is a committee overseeing public transportation system, established last year, as well as others like e-hailing services to be implemented.
On introducing driving tests for automatic transmission vehicles and issuance of driving licence using such transmission, the minister said a proposal was mooted last year and is in line with the current situation and best practices worldwide. However, it needs to be analysed with studies and research.
On a query to introduce vehicle inspection station (VIS) in Temburong District raised by Yang Berhormat Haji Emran, the minister said there are still no VIS in Temburong and Tutong districts. Temburong residents would need to have their VIS in the capital.
On the nation becoming a multi-model transport system gateway in BIMP-EAGA region as raised by Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi, the matter is in discussion at ASEAN Transport Ministers meeting and is connected to the national transport system.