Fully connected ICT network by end of 2005
The Borneo Post - Thursday, 10 April, 2003
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KUCHING: The State government will be able to fully connect its information and communication technology (ICT) network statewide by end of 2005.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr George Chan said wireless communications will also play a key role in connecting the government administrative machinery. "This is the right way to go because we are such a big state. When that time comes it will be much more affordable, it is much easier for us to go to the rural areas," he told reporters after the Geoinformation and Surveying Conference 2003 opening ceremony.

"By 2005 we should be on target as by now we are only 50 percent (connected)," said Dr Chan, who is also the chairman of the State Information Technology and Resources Council (SITRC).

Although he admitted that the final stages of the implementation may prove to be more challenging in the future, Dr Chan, however, was opti­mistic that it would be on schedule.

Earlier in his speech, Dr Chan remarked that with the implementation of ICT in the State Public Service at a fast rate, it was imperative that the rest of the society followed suit.

"Our vision is to connect to all government offices, regardless of their size and location by the end of 2005. We are exploring various technologies in order to achieve this," he said.

The State has come a long way since it started using ICT 11 years ago in 1992 and soon established as SITRC in 1999.  "Today we have a reasonably ICT­literate public service. Every State government office has computing facilities and most government employees are able to use them," said Dr Chan.

Sarawak In formation Systems Sdn Bhd has developed over 200 applications some of which are adopted for use by some other states and the Federal government.

The government has also implemented a statewide network called the SarawakNet which has been extended to all districts in the State.  SarawakNet also connects to all local authorities and by the end of this year it will be linked to other State statutory bodies which have not been connected yet.

The State government hopes that through such venture its Public Service can be turned into a knowledge-based service.  Meanwhile the two-day conference with 200 registered participants is organised by the Institutions of Surveyors, Malaysia (Sarawak Branch) and ICT unit of the Chief Minister's Department.  It will focus on the changing world and the impact of the ICT on the surveying profession.