Premier: High-level water tanks to double as network towers for Internet coverage

Abang Johari (centre) and Uggah (left) being briefed by Richard on the plantation road upgrading project for Kampung Gedong to Kampung Samalatong on May 20, 2023. Photo credit: Ukas

By Chris Bishop and Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 20: High-level water tanks in Sarawak will be transformed into antenna-equipped structures capable of providing network coverage to villages and their surrounding areas.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg announced this latest idea to maximise the functionality of the high-level water tanks in Sarawak.

“I will get (SDEC) Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation to adopt this method and equip our high-level water tanks with antennas for Internet connectivity.

“This means we can cut down the cost and reduce the need for constructing numerous standalone telco towers across Sarawak,” he told a press conference after officiating the groundbreaking ceremony for the taking over and upgrading of existing plantation road from Gedong to Kampung Semalatong held at the Datuk Patinggi Ali Gedong Hall today.

With 42 high-level water tanks spread throughout the region, Abang Johari said this out-of-the-box approach would capitalise on the existing infrastructure to expand network connectivity to even rural and remote areas in Sarawak.

“The high-level water tanks can serve multiple functions simultaneously, not only for water storage. Then it will provide network coverage to the entire village and surrounding areas reachable by the signal.

“Then schools in these areas will not have problems with Internet connection,” he added.

To implement this concept, Abang Johari said it would commence a trial run in Kampung Sageng, whose water supply system is currently upgrading.

Abang Johari also mentioned that the water supply system in Sarawak would be upgraded, but there was a problem with the water pressure that caused pipes to burst.

“As such, we will need to change and upgrade the water distributing pipes to support the strong water pressure with sources from Kuching and Serian,” he said.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Development Ir Aidel Lariwoo, and Sarawak State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki were among those present. — DayakDaily