Kota Belud becomes a model for ICT services

KOTA BELUD: The Kota Belud Smart Community initiative adopted by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission will turn the district into the benchmark and model for development based on the information and communications technology for the other districts in Sabah.

The initiative, launched by Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak, outlined six core programs namely the enhancement of communications infrastructure, the development of applications and contents, the development of the entrepreneurship and tourism industry, internet centres, improvement in the postal services, and security and river water level monitoring system.

Under the communications infrastructure enhancement program, works on improving infrastructure for broadband services and access to the 2G and 3G coverage and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology were being carried out.

By the first quarter of 2016, the local community’s access to 2G services had reached 86 per cent while 3G and LTE had reached 75.4 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively.

“With the expansion of the 2G and 3G coverage which had exceeded 75 per cent, Kota Belud residents are enjoying broadband services and by the end of 2016, the 2G and 3G coverage will be widened to 90 per cent for inhabited areas,” said Salleh when launching the initiative here today.

At the event, Salleh also officiated the Kota Belud Branch of the Sabah State Library and the 1Malaysia Internet Centre at the library building. Also present were MCMC Chairman Halim Shafie and Sabah Community Development and Consumerism Minister Jainab Ahmad Ayid.

Salleh said under the Sub-Urban Broad Band (SUBB) project of the initiative, four Internet Centres had already been built, in Kampung Rampayan Laut, Suang Panggor, Tamu Darat and the latest in Pekan Kota Belud.

Salleh said Kota Belud, particularly in the town area, enjoyed 2G, 3G and LTE coverage.

The Federal Government would endeavour to continue efforts to improve the coverage by building a new tower and installing transmitters, and extend the fiber network to ensure quality service.

One of the sectors to enjoy the spillover would be tourism, including the tourism activities in Pulau Mantanani, a popular resort island.

Various handicrafts and tour packages could now be marketed through the Internet through services and mobile applications.

Wifi facilities for residents and visitors in Kota Kinabalu City would be implemented as soon as the slight technical problem that had occurred was resolved.