Regulatory body says approval for telco tower in Tabuan Heights followed SOP

A woman uses an iPhone. — file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, Nov 11: The state government is committed to ensuring that public safety is given the highest priority while meeting the increasing demand for better coverage, quality and affordable broadband service at Lorong Song 3 in Tabuan Heights.

In a press statement, Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) pointed out that two engagements and dialogue sessions were carried out this year to discuss on a suitable site for the construction of a telecommunication tower as stipulated under Principle 3 of the Sarawak Telecommunication Policy, where the facility should be located in a practical and standard manner.

Moreover, the selected site should not result in obstruction or negative impact to any landmark, heritage or panorama.

“To this end, the first engagement was organised involving the government, Nationwide Fiberization Plan (NFP) and the community.

“As there were still concerns raised by the public regarding the construction of this structure, a second engagement session was held in October 2018 with the participation of the Malaysian Nuclear Agency, an agency under the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC),” said SMA.

SMA was responding to complaints from Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Tabuan Heights residents on the construction of a new telecommunication structure at Lorong 3, Tabuan Heights.

SMA said it approved the construction based on the consideration that data traffic in the area had exceeded the capacity of the current cellular telecommunication equipment.

The authority had also studied the possibility of installing extra equipment on existing towers but such an implementation was not only not optimal in terms of operating efficiency and cost but may also risk public safety due to the physical overloading of the existing tower.

“Initially, the proposed site for the construction of the new structure was in a residential part, subsequently prompting SMA to advise NFP to relocate the site.

“This new site has already been gazetted for utility purposes, and its location has been audited to perform high-speed broadband connectivity with better coverage and quality of broadband service.

“Hence, approval was given to NFP to erect the structure at this new site,” said SMA.

SMA further pointed out that NFP was required to adhere to all governing procedures, including obtaining approvals from Sarawak Energy Berhad and the Land and Survey Department.

“Decisions on the construction of telecommunication structures have to be made and promptly executed.

“Any reviews on the decided optimum site has to be backed by proven scientific evidence to avoid any unnecessary compromise in terms of cost, time of delivery and quality of broadband to the public,” said SMA. — DayakDaily