Liwan: 5 telecom towers completed as part of SMART Phase 1, operational by Q1 2023 in Beting Maro

Liwan during the Q&A session at the DUN sitting today (Nov 24, 2022). Screenshot taken from a Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) Facebook livestream.

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Nov 24: Five telecommunications towers have been completed as part of the Sarawak Multimedia Authority Rural Telecommunication (SMART) Phase 1 initiative and will be operational by the first quarter of 2023 in the Beting Maro state constituency, according to the Deputy Minister for Utility and Telecommunication (Telecommunication) Datuk Liwan Lagang.

Liwan, who is also the Belaga assemblyman, stated this when responding to Beting Maro assemblyman Razaili Gapor’s question in today’s question and answer (Q&A) session at the 19th Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting at the DUN complex here.

Razaili inquired about the government’s proposal to improve internet coverage and telecommunication connections in the N29 Beting Maro area, as well as whether the government intends to construct a digital innovation centre for the Beting Maro community.

“In an effort to increase internet coverage and telecommunication connections in the Beting Maro state constituency, there are as many as five telecommunications towers that have been completed under the SMART Phase 1 initiative.

“The towers will be operational by the first quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, two more SMART towers Phase 2 and one tower under the National Digital Interconnection Plan (JENDELA) Phase 1 by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) are still in the stage of implementation,” Liwan explained.

He went on to say that three existing telecommunications towers have been operating using broadband services through the Sarawak Rural Broadband Network (MySRBN) initiative, in Beladin Village, Sepinang Village, and Pusa Town.

He also mentioned that an existing telecommunications tower in Kampung Pusa will be outfitted with MySRBN and operational by the end of the year.

“The Sarawak government has also provided internet services through the WIFI SALURAN initiative through the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) as a temporary solution in three locations in the Beting Maro state constituency until new towers are built.

“Belok Kelili, Kampung Tengah Pusa Village Library, and Semarang village are the locations,” he mentioned.

According to Liwan, several initiatives to improve the quality and coverage of telecommunications are being implemented in the Beting Maro state constituency under the JENDELA Phase 1 by the federal government, such as upgrading 25 transmitter stations from 3G to 4G services and expanding fibre optic network coverage covering 38 premises, which are still being implemented and are expected to be completed by the end of 2022. — DayakDaily