Making strides in digital transformation

Azlan Othman

To support and enhance Brunei’s economic growth through digital transformation, a master plan was introduced by Digital Economy Council – the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025.

The master plan focusses on projects under nine clusters – logistics and transportation; energy; business sector; tourism; financial services; health; agrifood; education; and halal.

This was highlighted by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah during the deliberation at the proposed budget for financial year 2021-2022 on the third day of Legislative Council meeting yesterday.

In support of this plan, several initiatives were implemented. To develop the telecommunications industry and to become an information communication technology (ICT) hub in the Asian region, Unified National Networks (UNN) partnered with DE-CIX, a leading German company in Internet exchange operations, to create the Borneo Internet Exchange.

Borneo Internet Exchange is the first international Internet exchange in Brunei and Borneo. It is intended to create new business opportunities, attract international companies as well as make Brunei a preferred location for business and investment.

To ensure the security of the country’s telecommunications network, the Cyber Defence Centre was established by UNN in December 2020. This centre provides training and enhances the human resource capacity of UNN.

Among the centre’s activities include monitoring inbound and outbound Internet traffic, development of defence strategies, big data analysis supported by artificial intelligence (AI) and collaborating with cyber agencies in the country.

Since the merger of the telecommunications network infrastructure under UNN, several improvements have been introduced such as increasing fixed broadband data capacity to facilitate online learning in April 2020.

Since January 2020, 29,000 customer connections and 7,118 home passes for fibre were implemented by UNN. This increased Brunei’s fixed broadband rate from 51.1 per cent to 70 per cent; provide high-speed connectivity to all quarantine locations; introducing Single RAN network (SRAN) in September 2020 to increase mobile line capacity up to five times in every location.

UNN increased its coverage with the launch of fibre in rural areas where 6,000 home will be covered by March 2022.

Cyber Security Brunei (CSB) was established on August 1, 2020, as a national cybersecurity agency to monitor and coordinate the country’s efforts in addressing security threats and cybercrime.