The World Bank has announced a USD2.6 million grant to improve Cambodia’s rural telecoms networks. The organisation believes up to 260,000 Cambodians in the country’s poorest areas will benefit from the loan, which is aimed at improving access to both landlines and mobile communications. According to La Narath, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Telecommunications, the use of mobile phones and landlines is much higher in the towns and cities. ‘It is time that inhabitants of rural areas are able to benefit from the same services, at the same quality and prices that the people in the cities have been enjoying for so many years,’ he said. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, at the end of 2007 there were 37,500 mainlines in the country compared to almost 2.5 million wireless subscribers, representing a penetration of around 17%.