Upgrading of 4G coverage in Pahang to focus on four districts, says minister

Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah at the Malaysia Prihatin Programme at the Temerloh Community College in Pahang, March 10, 2021. — Bernama pic
Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah at the Malaysia Prihatin Programme at the Temerloh Community College in Pahang, March 10, 2021. — Bernama pic

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TEMERLOH, March 10 — Four districts in Pahang have been listed as the main locations for the upgrading of Internet access, especially the 4G network, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said the 4G coverage in the four districts was still below 80 per cent, with the rate in Lipis at 68.94 per cent, Cameron Highlands (76.38 per cent), Jerantut (77.38 per cent) and Rompin (79.18 per cent).

The overall 4G coverage rate in Pahang is at 89.10 per cent compared to the national average of 92.03 per cent. Kuantan is the district with the best coverage at 97.10 per cent, followed by Temerloh (92.73 per cent) and Bentong (91.14 per cent).

“Plans to upgrade Internet service is being carried out under the National Digital Network (Jendela), including building 191 new communication towers throughout Pahang, with 28 of them completed last year, to expand the 4G coverage, especially in the rural and interior areas.

“A total of 898 transmitter stations will be upgraded from 3G to 4G, while 116,773 premises will be connected to fibre optic networks. If all goes well, Internet coverage will be better by middle of this year,” he told reporters after attending the Malaysia Prihatin Programme at the Temerloh Community College, here today.

Also present were National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) chairman Zakaria Abdul Hamid, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) of Pahang director Zahari Ismail and state Information Department director Mohd Salmun Mustafa.

In a separate development, Saifuddin said there was a need to amend the MCMC Act 1998 as it was enacted 23 years ago and had failed to keep abreast with current technological developments.

He said this posed a challenge when it came to investigating issues, such as the spread of fake news on social media which, in recent times, has seen irresponsible parties uploading statements that could raise doubts about the Covid-19 vaccine.

“We are amending (MCMC Act), including how best to expedite investigations. In 1998, we never imagined that applications such as WhatsApp would exist and people could spread fake news as quickly as now,” he said.

He added that the ministry would also intensify efforts to advise the public not to easily believe or be a party to helping to spread fake news on social media. — Bernama

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