Posted on June 28, 2011, Tuesday
IN an effort to improve telecommunication service in Sarawak, the government has to set up 257 telecommunication towers throughout the state, said Public Utilities Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.
“To-date 64 towers have been completed since the implementation of the TIME 3 programme in 2009 whereas the remaining 193 are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2012,” he said in his windingup speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here yesterday.
He told the august house that so far about 83 per cent of the inhabited areas in the state had already been provided with the cellular network service.
He also informed that up to the first half of this year the broadband penetration was 41.2 per cent of households.
According to him, the broadband coverage rate was regarded as satisfactory, considering the challenges faced by telecommunication companies in providing the service in remote areas of the state.
He said the government was coming up with a new initiative to expedite the provision of the broadband service in the state, and targeted that broadband penetration will be 65 per cent by 2015.
Awang Tengah, who is also Second Planning and Resource Management Minister, said in order to provide internet access to the rural population, the government had so far established 34 community broadband centres (CBC), 26 community broadband libraries (CBL) and 22 mini CBCs throughout the state.
The state, he said had also developed its wireless technology by establishing 187 WiFi Hotspots in schools, community centres, public places and rural areas.
Under the second phase, the government has identified another 135 new locations, mostly in rural libraries, and the implementation is expected to start by end of this year.