KUCHING, Nov 20 — The Sarawak government is working to establish its own telecommunication company (telco) within the next two years to expedite internet connectivity in the rural areas, its Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said.

He said the decision to set up the telco was made last Wednesday to overcome the reluctance among telcos to expand their internet services into Sarawak’s rural areas, which they deemed to be not profitable.

“So the way out for the (state) government is to have its own telco and we will subsidise our telco so that the tariff for its services is low,” he said in a “Post-Budget 2021 Discourse with Abg Jo” programme on TV Sarawak here last night.

Through the combined efforts of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), he said a total of 1,246 communication towers were planned to be built throughout the state by 2023.

“(The more than) 1,200 (towers) may be enough but (the issue is the refusal) of the operators (telcos) needed who want to use them,” he said.

Abang Johari also revealed that he had approved RM150 million last Wednesday to start a project to expand WiFi coverage in the state through the zone system.

“If this (system) already exists, it means the internet connectivity can be expanded,” he added.


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