KKMM committed to ensuring high-speed Internet access available nationwide, says Annuar

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 23): The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) is committed to ensuring that high-speed Internet access is available nationwide, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

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Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said this is through a project to build new telecommunications towers, upgrade existing transmitters, provide premises with fibre optics and satellite broadband.

“The commitment to succeed in this is a great national commitment. Inevitably it must be achieved in line with the concept of the ministry that connectivity is a human right,” he said.

He was replying to a question from Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun (Bersatu-Beaufort) about the steps taken to ensure high-speed Internet access in Sabah.

Annuar said for Sabah, a total of 538 new telecommunications towers are planned with 51 completed, 2,041 transmitting stations upgraded from the target of 3,500 stations, 81,268 out of 251,165 premises provided fibre optics, and satellite broadband is planned for 138 locations.

He added that for Sarawak, 823 new telecommunications towers are planned with 74 completed, 1,615 transmitting stations upgraded from the target of 3,012 stations, 47,223 out of 73,588 premises fitted with fibre optics, and satellite broadband is planned for 523 locations.

Annuar said Sabah and Sarawak are the main focus in the National Digital Network (JENDELA) programme because of the level and quality of coverage in the two states, especially in rural areas.

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He said for Sabah, via the JENDELA programme under Universal Service Provision (USP) and Commercial, RM1.75 billion and RM77 million were allocated respectively through the ministry’s point of presence (PoP).

“For Sarawak, JENDELA USP RM2.045 billion, for JENDELA Commercial RM2.045 billion and for PoP programmes RM80 million.

Answering Azizah’s supplementary question on the many locations that have internet disruptions, including in urban areas, Annuar informed that currently, there are some states that have much lower 4G coverage than other states.

“These states which are less than 95% [meaning] there are 5% or more areas that have not yet reached LTE or Long Term Evolution services are Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang with only 90.25%, Perak (94.81%), Terengganu (94.22%), Sabah (83.48%) and Sarawak (80.84%).

“So in our planning, this digital divide needs to be closed quickly, that’s why the budget is given to the states where the gap is so significant,” he said.

He said KKMM had introduced the JENDELA Map last July to enable users to view the coverage map, provide feedback and feedback status. -BERNAMA -The Edge Markets