The deployment of the Intelligent Community Infrastructure (iComm) in strategic rural areas was one of the initiatives under the MOSTI Social Innovation programme. The programme provides digital communications tools and video surveillance system inclusive of mobile applications with disaster alert, public policing, instant messaging and monitoring functions.
The primary intention was to deploy an intelligent network infrastructure and services that is self-powered (using solar panels) which would serve the community with informative applications via smart phones and computers. The innovation was expected to accelerate decision making, provide useful evidence and promote close cooperation among people from the villages in order to grow their economy. Two iComm projects were implemented in 2017.
Tuaran and Kiulu
The small town of Tuaran, located about 30 km from Sabah’s capital Kota Kinabalu, and eco-adventure tourist spots in nearby Kiulu were the first townships in the country to receive the iComm. The Tuaran and Kiulu iComm comprised a wireless network, surveillance cameras and smart applications aimed at improving the standard of living and security of the community. Altogether, a total of 30 iComm poles were erected in strategic locations to provide the services, which included a community communication system app and smart sensors to detect air quality.
Apart from improving communication locally and beyond the district; they system helped monitor and improve security level as well as the environment. The app also helped the locals to prepare the townsfolks in the event of natural disasters. Along the way, the programme helped sharpen ICT literacy among the locals, and generate microeconomics from e-commerce activities spurred by the communication app.
The app also allowed local authorities to deliver their services more efficiently, and encouraged the community leaders and authorities to communicate through computers and smartphones.
The project has shown encouraging results especially in the attitude change among the locals as they have become more alert to their surrounding and become more technology conversant.
The Tasik Kenyir iComm, which comprised a wireless network, surveillance cameras and mobile application, was part of the initiatives of Central Terengganu Development Board (KETENGAH) to promote tourism and improve public safety at tourist spots around the 260 km² man-made lake area.
With iComm, the local community and tourists alike would be able to enjoy better network connectivity and speed, as well as a peace of mind with the installation of the surveillance cameras.
Foreign tourists found the wireless network and mobile application facilities especially helpful when they needed fast Internet connection (e.g. to get local information or send holiday photos) even when they are in the remotest lake area. At the same time, the surveillance cameras added to the safety and security of this popular tourism destination.