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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Calls for cables in the capital to be buried underground

Calls for cables in the capital to be buried underground

The government has requested telecommunications companies to bury fibre-optic cables now hung above Phnom Penh’s streets in an attempt to beautify the city before the Kingdom takes the ASEAN chairmanship next year.

The adjustments would not be costly as an underground framework already holds a large quantity of cables, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications So Khun said yesterday.

“We already have the holes for the underground cables. We just need to put them underground,” he said.

With Cambodia set to assume the ASEAN chairmanship next year, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications is working with other ministries to get the cables in the ground before the capital hosts meetings and ceremonies expected as a part of the Kingdom’s chairmanship, So Khun added.

During a seminar yesterday on reforming the fibre-optic network, the minister called the aerial cables unsafe and “messy as if it is a spider’s web.”

Including TV connections, at least 1,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cables hang in Phnom Penh, Steven Cao, CEO of Cambodia Fiber Optics Communication Network estimated yesterday.

CFOCN and Telecom Cambodia will cooperate with mobile carrier Metfone, which has many of the countries aerial cables, to lay them in the existing pipes, he said.

The high cost of laying underground cables has historically kept fibre-optic networks in developing countries in the air, Cao added.

“When they start developing, they lack funds, designs and plans, so they end up using the quickest, cheapest way,” he said. “But when the country develops to a certain level, people and the government start to think of the proper way for their city and environment, and things have to change.”

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