The Malaysian telecoms regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), has reportedly set aside MYR500 million (USD147.8 million) for the development of broadband penetration in the Sarawak region, according to Bernama.
The funds have been allocated from the national universal service provision (USP) fund, and are expected to assist in the expansion of broadband services in the region for the three years 2008-2010. Of the money earmarked, approximately MYR100 million has already been spent, with more likely to follow soon as a number of new contracts have recently been awarded. Deputy Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang has said that there are 482 MCMC-sponsored telecommunication towers in the Sarawak state, while a further 203 are in the process of being constructed, noting: ‘My ministry, through the MCMC, pledges to continue to work together with the state government towards achieving 50% household national broadband penetration rate by the end of 2010. The penetration in Sarawak now is at 16.7%. Although the state still has a long way to go, it is certainly not at the bottom of the table nationwide.’