KUALA LUMPUR: Several plans to upgrade internet access in Sarawak are ready, among others, to increase 4G network coverage in the state which is currently only at 80.84 per cent, lower than the national average of 94. per cent, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
He said among the areas of focus was Julau which had 4G coverage at only 27.34 per cent.
“So there is a huge gap between Sarawak and Julau, what more at the national level,” he said during the Oral Question-and-Answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was replying to a question from Larry Sng Wei Shien (Ind-Julau) who wanted to know the government’s plans in ensuring sustainable internet access and telecommunications coverage in Sarawak, especially in rural areas, particularly in his area.
Commenting further, Annuar, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ketereh, said among the government’s plans for the Julau area included building 47 new telecommunication towers and upgrading 38 transmitter stations, three of which had already been completed and the rest were still being implemented.
In addition, Annuar said fibre optic coverage to premises in the area would be increased to 315 premises of which 226 had been completed.
According to him, due to Julau’s location in the interior which makes it difficult to build telecommunication towers, the government also plans to implement 46 projects to deliver internet services via satellite broadband.
Annuar said his ministry would also implement the Point of Presence (PoP) programme, which was to channel fibre optics coverage to school areas to get a more stable internet supply, whereby 35 schools would be involved in the Julau area and would start next month.
“It is hoped that it will be completed before the end of next year so that in Yang Berhormat (the MP’s) area, the coverage will be equivalent or almost equivalent to the national average for all to get 4G coverage,” he said.
Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Ind-Muar) stood up to praise Annuar for being the first minister to present a list of development projects for each parliamentary constituency.
“I hope other ministers can do the same,” he said.