BERUAS: The Energy, Water and Communications Ministry will encourage state governments to co-operate with telecommunication companies or form their own companies to set up transmission towers in their respective states, especially in the rural areas.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said this was because there were more than 3,000 towers that could not be set up as state governments or local authorities had not given the green light.
He said he would present a paper on the proposal and discuss how the towers could best be utilised.
“These same towers could each be used to provide not just mobile telephone services but also television, radio and broadband services.
“Once the towers are set up, we can discuss through the Multimedia and Telecommunications Commission how the mobile phone operators and Internet service providers can make use of the towers at a fair and affordable rate,” he told reporters after opening the Beruas Umno division delegates meeting here yesterday.
He said the proposal was necessary as there was only one company constructing such towers, adding that this monopoly should not be allowed.
Dr Lim also said he would present a working paper during the next Cabinet meeting to suggest the introduction of broadband services nationwide.
Dr Lim said this service could first be extended to schools, e-government offices and for telemedicine, which would allow residents in the rural areas to consult specialists in urban hospitals through teleconferencing.
He said it was therefore important to be connected throughout the country as there were many areas that were not covered.
Dr Lim, who is Beruas MP, added that as a part of the “kampung net” concept, he hoped to set up computers with Internet services and even broadband facilities at community halls in each village in his constituency.