Telcos slammed for refusing to synchronise trenching

File photo shows Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi (left) speaking during the Penang DAP Convention in George Town on December 1, 2013. Ooi, who is Penang Development Corporation (PDC) telecommunication chairman, said local telcos were uncooperative with the common trenching system. — Picture by K.E. Ooi
File photo shows Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi (left) speaking during the Penang DAP Convention in George Town on December 1, 2013. Ooi, who is Penang Development Corporation (PDC) telecommunication chairman, said local telcos were uncooperative with the common trenching system. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

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GEORGE TOWN, Jan 29 — Telecommunication companies were yesterday slammed for not sharing the common trenching system, resulting in uncoordinated trenching all over the island.

Penang Development Corporation (PDC) telecommunication chairman Jeff Ooi said local telecommunication companies were uncooperative with the common trenching system since it was enforced by the state government in April 2011.

“We gave the operators six months' notice and followed up the enforcement with a written letter in March 2012.

“However, during our 21 months' of observation, we found that local telecommunication companies refused to share their infrastructures,” he said yesterday.

Ooi said even after the state government wrote to the companies, held workshops and industrial meetings, they still maintained their monopolistic business behaviour. The common trenching system was established to minimise damage and traffic congestion on roads caused by trenching and to create a more streamlined, coordinated and organised infra-sharing on the island.

“The system was introduced so we could monitor which telco companies and contractors were trenching  and where and how long it took them to complete,” he said.

Ooi said PDC, as the caretaker of telecommunications in the state, had reported the problem to the state government. He warned the common trenching system would be a failure if the telecommunication companies continued with their ways of doing things.

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