CM: Faster Internet speed soon


Abang Johari being greeted upon his arrival at the Hari Raya open house hosted by Fadillah (on his left).

KUCHING: People in Sarawak, especially those in the urban areas, are expected to enjoy faster Internet speed soon.

Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said works to increase Internet speed had started.

“It’s just a matter of connecting all the major players to lay the basic infrastructure, the fibre optics as well as the cloud for feeding,” he told reporters when visiting the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house hosted by Minister of Works Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof here yesterday.

Accompanying him was his wife Datin Amar Datuk Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang.

The Chief Minister said studies on the location of additional towers had also been completed.

He, however, said the state government had yet to identify the main contractors for building the towers.

“But I can assure that new towers will be built. The money, the allocation, is there.

Fadillah (seventh left) and Ruziah (seventh right) pose for a group photo with Dr Sim (sixth left), Lo (third right), Ting (fifth left) and members of their delegation.

Fadillah sharing a light moment with Dr Sim (second left) upon the latter’s arrival at the Hari Raya open house. — Photo by Tan Song Wei

“The localities of the tower have been identified and once we have identified the contractor, building of towers will begin,” he said.

Abang Johari, in early April, had announced the state’s plan to invest RM1 billion in the construction of more  telecommunication infrastructure, increasing the number of communication towers from the current 1,200 to over 5,000, which he said was necessary for Sarawak to have adequate network coverage.

He pointed out that the average wired network speed for Sarawak was four megabits per second (Mbps) per household, which is nearly seven times slower than South Korea’s average network speed of 29 Mbps per household.

He said the state government “must take the lead” in driving the development of physical information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, rather than depend on commercial operators and service providers, and the investment would include “opening up the field” to more commercial operators and embracing data transmission by optical fibre links.

Asked when this infrastructure would be put in place, he said the lab was on-going among the civil service, after which the state would have another major conference on IT towards November.

“Then we will move the ordinance of Sarawak Multimedia Authority that will regulate the whole IT.”