TAWAU: Contractors and operators of telecommunication towers are today told to communicate and cooperate to immediately overcome problems, thus speeding up the facility’s operation.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said both parties should work together to coordinate the operation of a telecommunication tower at least three or four months before the facility is ready to enable the people to enjoy better telecommunication.

“This is important to solve any problems so the tower can operate well and as scheduled. We don’t want problems between the builder (contractor) and the operator to disrupt the operation process,“ he said.

He told reporters this after inspecting the operation of the telecommunication tower under Phase 1 of the National Digital Network Plan (JENDELA) project in Kampung Mangga here today.

Fahmi said the Ministry of Communications and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will monitor the progress of the project to ensure it is completed and runs smoothly.

“I have met with all the parties involved and they have informed me that by the end of this year, almost 400 towers (in Sabah) will be completed...whatever happens we want the towers to be ready and we will take action if they are completed as promised,” he said.

The ministry, he said, planned to build 647 new towers, upgrade 4,486 existing transmitting stations and install 303,569 premises with fiber optic connections in Sabah.

He also said a total of 259 transmitter stations have been upgraded and a total of 18,231 premises installed with fiber optic connections.

“The broadband service through the satellite Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) will be provided in 138 locations in the interior areas,“ he said.

Commenting on his visit to the telecommunications tower in Kampung Mangga, Fahmi said the project was handed over last April 24 and was operational the following day.

“It was fast and I have requested that this project be used as an example so that the people can immediately enjoy Internet facilities in their respective areas,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Fahmi requested MCMC to identify steps to resolve the problem of no Internet access in some areas on the main route in Tawau.

“I made some calls on the way from Tawau to the airport and there are places where there is no line or with only 2G... we need to address the problem,“ he added.