The Telecommunications Order 2001 has a provision to implement plans under a framework known as the Universal Services Obligation, USO that is meant to broaden the utilisation of telecommunications services throughout the country, especially in areas where there is no coverage. The Minister of Communications explained this in reply to a query on a number of National Housing Areas that still do not have telecommunications coverage.
According to the Minister of Communications, monitoring by the Ministry shows that eighty one villages still do not have telecommunications coverage. This includes several villages in Brunei Muara district. Yang Berhormat highlighted the problem that some of them have few people, including those which only have 300 residents. On the requirement for telephone towers, the Minister said around 60 to 65 is needed and each costs around six hundred fifty thousand dollars. Yang Berhormat said with the USO planning it is hoped a fund would be established where telecommunications supervisors make a commitment to contribute to the fund, which is how much of the income would be used as capital investment for constructing the infrastructure. The Ministry of Communications hopes to implement this soon, and to negotiate with the telecommunications supervisors.