The Sultanate is actively improving and expanding Internet connectivity, particularly in remote areas, via projects spearheaded by Unified National Networks (UNN) that will be completed in six phases over the next few years, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah said.
He made these comments at the sixth day of the 18th Legislative Council (LegCo) Meeting yesterday.
The minister was responding to LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Tahamit bin Haji Nudin’s query on the country’s plans to ensure access to seamless Internet connectivity for all, especially students in the digital age.
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said the network access improvement and expansion project by UNN covers a number of locations in the country. For the first phase, the installation of a 12.34-kilometre fibre cable that covers areas of Kampong Kuala Abang, Kampong Menengah, Kampong Lamunin and Kampong Bukit Barun is expected to be ready by the first quarter of this year.
The second phase involves the installation of a 54.4-kilometre fibre cable to accommodate a number of areas across all districts, including Kampong Batang Mitus, Kampong Sungai Petai in Labi and Kampong Batang Duri expected to be ready by the middle of this year. The third phase will be ready in the final quarter of this year.
The fourth and fifth phases will be implemented in the second and fourth quarter of 2023, and the sixth phase is expected to be ready by the second quarter of 2024.
“It is hoped that with this improvement, more of the public – including students undergoing virtual lessons – will have access to a more seamless communication network,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister shared that the Ministry of Education (MoE) has allocated funds for the National Education Network project for 153 schools across the country that will provide reliable high-speed Internet access for students to help boost the effectiveness of technological use in the teaching and learning process. However, he said access to this project for schools in remote areas will take longer.