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KUCHING, Nov 23: Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) has appealed to landowners for their support and cooperation to allow the government to utilise their land to build more than 1,000 telecommunication towers over the next one year.
Its general manager Dr Zaidi Razak said 636 telecommunication towers will be built by the federal government under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and an additional 300 towers will be built by the Sarawak government through Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC).
Some 300 telecommunication towers are currently under construction.
In total, more than 1,200 towers are expected to be erected by the end of 2022.
Zaidi said he understood the people’s sentiments and that land matters are always close to their hearts.
“The government understands that land matters are always a sensitive issue to mention. However, there is an urgency to build these towers in order to improve the current connectivity.
“Insofar as land acquisition in concerned, the Land and Survey Department will carry out the acquisition which include terms and conditions on such issues,” he said.
He added the sites for the 636 telecommunication towers have been identified, and hoped the local communities will give their full cooperation.
“With better connectivity, most people will (be better able to) get connected to the Internet.
“And with better connectivity, people can participate in the digital economy such as buying and selling online and get connected with their loved one from other cities,” he added.
Zaidi stressed that, Internet connectivity must be used responsibly so that it could bring benefits to users.
“So, don’t let this opportunity be washed away from your sight. Use this tool to earn more income; even if it means only RM10 a day, it’s still income.
“Or you can offer your services in rural areas by providing guides to tourists who come and visit your place.
“These are simple examples on how to leverage this Internet connectivity,” he said.
On another matter, Zaidi said the implementation of the Sarawak Linking Urban Rural (Saluran) initiative is expected to increase Internet coverage areas to 93.6 per cent by December 2022.
He noted there was an improvement in 4G coverage with the completion of 150 Sarawak Rural Broadband Network (MySRBN) and 71 National Digital Network (Jendela) sites.
This will be further boosted by upgrading the current 2G and 3G networks to 4G networks so as to provide better Internet connectivity.
“This is in line with our target to provide Internet penetration of more than 90 per cent by 2025 so that Sarawak can achieve high income economy status by 2030,” Zaidi said after briefing an MCMC delegation led by its director Adiman Ajem at the SMA office here today.
Meanwhile, Adiman who is MCMC Sarawak director revealed that the commission will have to invest RM4.01 billion to build the 636 towers which include upgrading 4G networks, fiberisation and satellite interim solutions. — DayakDaily