By Karen Bong
KUCHING, June 21: Some 49 longhouses, six schools, two higher education institutions, and three government offices in Sebauh district near Bintulu are now connected to high-speed internet.
Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the Sarawak government has recently completed the Sebauh Rural High-Speed Open Broadband Network in which fibre optic cables have been expanded into these areas.
“The Sarawak government strategy is to build digital infrastructure to widen the coverage and provide connectivity, especially to rural communities.
“With Sarawak’s vast landscape, it is estimated that we will need 7,000 telecommunication structures to achieve 99.99 per cent internet penetration throughout Sarawak,” he said.
Abang Johari highlighted this in his keynote address at the 5th International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.
He pointed out that Sarawak government has implemented several initiatives to accelerate, expand and increase connectivity throughout the State, especially rural and remotes areas, through Sarawak Linking Urban, Rural and Nation (Saluran) and National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (Jendela) in collaboration with the Federal government.
“Saluran initiative is a Sarawak government initiative to provide connectivity to the rakyat. Under the Saluran initiative, the Sarawak government has allocated SMART 600 towers to be built under the Sarawak Multimedia Authority Rural Telecommunication (SMART) project.
“The Federal government through MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) has allocated additional 742 new towers to be built in Sarawak through Jendela,” he elaborated.
SMART 600 Phase 1 comprising of 300 towers, he informed, is targeted to be completed by third quarter of 2022 with Phase 2 of another 300 towers by fourth quarter of 2023.
As part of Saluran, Abang Johari added that Sarawak Rural Broadband Network (MySRBN) is a first State-owned 4G ready and 5G Oriented Broadband Telecommunication Network that uses Fixed Wireless Broadband technology.
“(Some) 158 sites across Sarawak have been implemented to connect rural families and communities.
“In upcoming phases, MySRBN will be extended across all the SMART 600 infrastructure, and aims to provide home broadband services for 100,000 rural homes in the next few years,” he said.
In far-reaching areas, Abang Johari explained that the Sarawak government has equipped 250 sites with Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) under the Wi-Fi Saluran project.
“This is an interim solution to give internet access to the underserved community which 86,562 users have benefited to date,” he said.
Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability Dr Hazland Abang Hipni, conference chairperson Dato Dr Sabariah Putit, as well as representatives from departments and agencies were among those present. — DayakDaily