Sarawak has delayed their initiative to achieve 100 percent internet coverage in Sarawak to 2025, but internet coverage in Sarawak is fast improving.
The plan postponement was announced by Minister of Utility and Telecommunications Datuk Julaihi Narawi which said that the delay was inevitable due to setbacks.
According to a report by The Borneo Post, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Sarawak, previously targeted to achieve 100 percent internet coverage by this year end.
The plan involved an allocation of RM4.09 billion.
However, setbacks had caused the coverage to only hit 82.86 per cent of populated area in the fourth quarter of 2021.
In the report, Julaihi was noted as claiming that the Sarawak Government had allocated a lot of money to improve internet connectivity but due to the unexpected setbacks, and for the fact Sarawak is vast, it could not be achieved earlier.
The report also said that 636 new 4G towers will be built under Phase 1 of JENDELA, with 299 already awarded to appointed service providers in January. These towers are expected to operate in the third quarter of 2023.
The remaining 337 towers will be awarded in March and will take about a year to complete.
Meanwhile, the government is looking to add 106 more towers in Sarawak soon once they are completed by the second quarter of 2023, with 3,014 transmitting stations for 4G network expected to be fully upgraded by March 2023.
Fibre optic networks in Sarawak isalso given attention with 76,449 premises able to enjoy the service in the last quarter of 2021, with another 39,647 premises expected to enjoy such coverage by the end of this year.
In remote areas, Julaihi noted that 523 locations had been identified for satellite installation under JENDELA with all locations expected to have coverage by May this year.