KUCHING: At the moment, records have shown an increase of broadband penetration rate (households) in the state from 13.6 per cent in 2008 to 51.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2016.

In addition to that, the coverage of 3G services recorded in populated areas has also increased by 44.1 per cent since 2008 to 72.1 per cent in February this year.

This was said by Minister of Rural Electricity and Water Supply Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom while delivering his winding-up speech during the State Legislative Assembly sitting here yesterday.

He also added that various planning is in place for communication infrastructures to be upgraded and new communication towers to be completed.

Dato Sri Dr. Stephen Rundi Utom Minister of Rural Electricity and Water Supply showing his ministry’s winding-up speech.

“Among the initiatives are the addition of 240 new communication towers, the upgrading of 395 existing towers to provide 3G and 4G services, and continuing efforts to connect over 600 towers with optical fiber to provide better broadband coverage and services,” he said.

Rundi explained that network design and implementation of communication systems should also be planned and designed centrally by focusing on high populated areas and then gradually to surrounding areas.

“This is to ensure that these facilities can provide a better quality of service to all regions, especially rural populated areas in the state.

“In addition, centralised planning is also important due to various challenges such as the hilly terrain in Sarawak, high density of tropical rain forest and canopy height, scattered population, and the constrains of stable electricity supply in rural areas,” he said.