102 rural communities between Lundu and Baram enjoy satellite broadband service

Residents of Rumah Kiroh Rantau Limau giving their thumb up to their new Wifi Saluran service. The longhouse is located two hours drive from Pakan

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Mar 2: 102 rural communities between Lundu to Subis and from Mukah to Baram are now enjoying satellite broadband service.

The Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) in a press statement today said it has achieved 50 per cent completion rate for the WIFI SALURAN (WS) interim connectivity solutions since the project launch in early February 2021.

SMA explained that the WS project is about installing Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) to targeted remote rural areas as interim solutions to the first-300 telecommunication tower project.

The authority said the selection of VSAT sites was determined by the existing locations of the first 300 towers and once the towers are ready, the respective VSATs will be deployed to where they are needed.

SMA added users who have Sarawak ID will get a free 1 gigabyte (GB) Internet access per month for the WS service.

The authority noted the installation of WS has kept pace with the completion timeline thus far despite the challenges of last-minute Covid-19 related lockdown decisions.

It disclosed the full deployment of 200 VSAT terminals will eventually cover all the districts in Sarawak and is expected to be completed by the end of March 2021.

“SMA has been making concerted efforts to bridge the digital gaps in a sustainable and holistic way.

“The pandemic has definitely heightened the urgency to address connectivity issues in a land mass the size of Sarawak.

“Despite such challenges, the authority has pulled out all stops to fast track various connectivity projects as mandated by the state government,” said SMA general manager Dr Zaidi Razak.

SMA outlined that WS is part of its telecommunication initiatives to cover 98 per cent of Sarawak’s populated areas by 2022. —DayakDaily