New towers in Sarawak to improve telecommunications

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/9/6/nation/20060906144750&sec=nation

Wednesday September 6, 2006

New towers in Sarawak to improve telecommunications

KUCHING: Telecommunication network coverage in Sarawaks bigger towns and highways could reach 90% by year end with the construction of 98 new towers throughout the state.

About the 70% of the project, undertaken by Sacofa Sdn Bhd, the state governments telecommunications arm, has been completed.

We should be able to complete the towers before the end of the year, managing director Abang Jemat Abang Bujang told reporters after attending a seminar on radio-frequency radiation and public health organised by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) here on Wednesday.

He said the towers, depending on the type and location erected cost between RM300,000 and RM700,000 each.

The cost can go up to RM700,000 in remote areas like Song and Kapit because of the problems involved, he added.

MCMC general manager (state planning) Jailani Johari said the commission was embarking on phase two of rolling out universal service provision (USP) services in Sarawak this year.

Under phase one, we identified about 26 existing USP areas in Sarawak. For phase two, we are going to focus on libraries and community centres which can facilitate Internet services, he said.

Sarawak Public Utilities Minister Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who opened the seminar, said the state government had proposed that USP services be provided in 45 new areas to serve at least 300 customers each.

These USP projects will be in remote areas where telephone and Internet facilities are difficult to set up and where telecommunication companies cannot afford to provide their services, he added.