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Mr. Abdul Mutalib Yusof, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Head of Delegation,Brunei Darussalam
Session 3: “Promoting Safe and Trusted ICT Environment” of the 9thAPEC
Ministerial Meeting on Telecommunications and Information
Industry(TELMIN 9), 7 –8 August 2012, St Petersburg, Russia
Ministers, Excellencies, ladies & gentlemen, a very good afternoon.
First of all, on behalf of our Minister of Communications, Minister
PehinDatoAbdullah, I would like to convey his apologies for not being
able to be hereat the 9thAPEC TELMINdue to unavoidable circumstances.
OurMinister also wishes to thankour kind host,His Excellency Mr. Nikolay
Nikiforov, Minister of Telecomand Mass Communications of the Russian
Federation for hisinvitation and the hospitality accorded to ussince our
arrival here in St Petersburg.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This afternoon I would like to share with you some of our perspectives
and views with respect to this session’s theme ‘ Promoting Safe and
Trusted ICTEnvironment’. Let me elaborate what a Safe and Trusted ICT
environment means to Brunei Darussalam. There are are four (4) key
dimensions to be addressed in this context, namely i)Competition and
Market Capitalisation; ii)Resilient and Reliable ICT
Infrastructure;iii)Users’ Assurance and Protection; and iv)
3. Firstly, allow me to touch on
Competition and Market Capitalisationin the ICT sector. As we know it
already,the Asia Pacificregion accounts for half of the total mobile
connections in the world, with 3 billion lines. By 2015 Asia Pacific is
expected to account for 40% of global data traffic. A GSMA 2011 report
estimated 5.3 billion Mobile-to-Mobile connection in the Asia Pacific
will be made by 20201.
1 Asia Pacific Mobile Observatory 2011, GSM Association
Brunei Darussalam plays a contributing role to this phenomenal growth.
Like most other economies, ourmobile phone penetration has exceeded 100%
since20082 and is currently reaching 120% as we speak.According to an
ITU 2011 Report, Brunei Darussalam is in the world’s top 20 of the
active mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants3.Despite being
a small market economy, Bruneicurrently ranks No.1in Asia for the
social network Facebook users with a penetration rate of 60per cent4.We
have a population of about 400,000 and the registered number of users is
about 230,000, just to give you an idea. An estimated 60 to 70% of
these users access their Facebook through their smart phones via mobile
5. This significant growth is a direct result of
competition in the mobile communications industry. Since the
introduction of a second mobile operator in 2005, mobile voice, data and
broadband services have become more and more affordable and accessible.
A decade of monopoly since 1995 in mobile communications saw relatively
a slow growth in uptake due to high pricing and simply no choice. To
further capitalise on a regional mobile users market, the local telcos
are encouraged to proactively engage in commercial
arrangements forsustainable roaming charges and to progressively go into international markets.
In this regard, it is the Government’s policy through theMinistry of
Communications to put in placecompetition and further market
capitalisation to benefit the consumers with a choice of affordable,
quality and attractive ICT services. This policy is in line with the
Ministry’s vision to make Brunei Darussalam a Sophisticated Society and
excellence in communications for enhancing national competitiveness by
7. On my second point,the need to have a Resilient and
Reliable ICT Infrastructure. We foresee that the demandfor ICT services,
contentand applications will continue to increase. In line withsuch
growth, the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuanof
Brunei DarussalampriotisesICT development as one of the key sectors in
realising our National Vision 2035.On 15thJuly 2012this year, His
Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalamconsented toa
budget of B$230millionor about $200million USDfor the Ministry
ofCommunications to implementa nationwide broadband initiative through
Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH). We also expect to boost the current low fixed
broadband penetration of about 12% up to at least 60% by 2017 through
8. This Government funded initiative willreplace
the currentaging copper cable for a more resilient and reliableoptical
fibre last mile connectivity,with a broadband speed of up to 20
mbpstargeting 85% nationwide roll-out under a5 year plan. The
remaining15% will be covered by wireless broadband technologies. This
initiative is expected to deliverhigh quality and affordable
high-speed broadband services to homes and businesses, and serves as acatalyst to attract FDI to the economy.
Thirdly, touching on Users’ Assurance and Protection, I wish to share
with you several key points. In achieving furtherICT development, we are
also facing the inevitable challenges. The consequences arising from
the misuse of ICT are significant. Brunei Darussalam regards this
matter seriously.So serious that on 15thJuly this year, His Majestythe
Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam called on theneed to
increase our capacity and awareness in monitoring, prevention and
enforcementwith respect to positive use of the Internet. The role of
all stakeholders, such asparents, teachers, society and the users
themselves are also emphasised. This leads to my key point on
Cybersecurity and Cybersafety.
Cybersecurity is an issue that cannot be ignored. Norton Cybercrime
Report 2011revealed that 10 percent of adultswho goonline have
experienced cybercrime on their mobile phones5. The cases of mobile
vulnerabilities are also found to be 42% higher in 2010 than it was in
20096. With ourhigh mobile phone penetration and active mobile broadband
users, these findings show us clear concerns that need to be
addressedin Brunei Darussalam.
5 http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20110907_02, 7 September 2011 6 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 16 http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20110907_02, 7 September 2011
On this note, the Government has initiated awareness programsthroughits
localrelevantvarious stakeholders. The Authority for
Info-communications Technology Industry (AITI)of Brunei Darussalam is
closely with the Ministry of Education to conductseminars
on Cyber Security and Internet Etiquette Awareness for secondary school
students andtheirparents. Negotiations are now underway between our
BruCERT and the Ministry of Education to include cybersecurity in the
curriculum to educate and make youths aware of online scams likephishing
through email and social networking sites like Facebook7.
On Cybersafety, young children and youths are notably high users of
ICT. They are however, among the most vulnerable group of users.
According to the ITU: - Around 90% of teens and young adults use the
Internet. Over 60% of children and teenagers talk in chat rooms on a
daily basis. 3 in 4 children online are willing to share personal
information about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and
services. 1 in 5 children will be targeted by a predator or paedophile
13. This is a reality that is happening and Brunei is
no exception. Supporting ITU’s initiative onChild Online Protection
(COP) Framework, Brunei hosted a COP Workshop in April 2012 this year.
Led by AITI and attended by other relevant agencies like the Royal
BruneiPoliceForce, theAttorney General Chambers and the Ministry of
Culture, Youth and Sports, theWorkshop’s primary objective is to develop
a sustainable Action Planand National Framework on Child Online
Protection withina period of12 months.
To complement our national initiatives, we are also actively engaging
regional and international collaboration.This brings to my last point
–International Co-operation.Brunei Darussalam hosted the 4thASEAN -Japan
Government Security Network Workshop inJunethis year. We also
participated in the cybersecurity awareness exhibitionheld at APEC
TELMIN8 in Okinawa, Japan in 2010.
15. With the APEC TELMIN9’s
theme highlighting security this year, we welcomeand look forward to
participatinginAPECTEL’s initiatives on cybersecurity. Being a
smallmarketeconomy, we realise that the consequences from the misuse of
ICT will be addressed more effectively through international cooperation
and coordination. Hence, we appreciateand welcomethe exchange of
information, forging of collaboration and networks among the APEC
16. With the depth of issues to be considered
inensuring online environment issafe and trusted, Brunei Darussalam
looks closely atregional and international best practicesas its point of
reference. Opportunities for collaborationwill always be highly
valuedand welcomed. As such,I wish to take the opportunity to
urgeAPECTEL to continue its cooperation with organizations such as
theITU, so that APEC TEL’s plans and initiatives are aligned with the
focus areas of ITU particularly in the area of Cybersecurity and
17. Despite these challenges, Brunei Darussalamis
embracing the ICT development as much as we can. To ensure that our
policy and regulatory framework are in line with the technological
development, the Government through AITI is currently conducting areview
for a convergence regulatory
framework to be completed bytheend
of this year. With this review, we hope to see more participation from
our local players in exploring the ICT and new media industry.
To conclude, I look forward to gaining further valuable insight intothe
best practices among the APEC economies. With so muchdiversityyet
opportunities amongst our 21 economies, I also look forward to further
strengthening our cooperationand subsequentlytowards a more proactive
implementation ofthe APEC TEL Strategic Action Plan. Let me take the
opportunity to commend the good work done by the APEC TELSOM and
APECTELWorking Groupin the finalisation of the APEC TEL Strategic Action
Plan and the St. Petersburg Declaration for our consideration tomorrow.
19. Thank you for your attention.
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