CM: 150 rural villages to gain internet connectivity via Sarawak Rural Broadband Network

Abang Johari reiterated that he would strive to provide internet connectivity to the masses.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, April 6: As many as 150 rural and suburban places in Sarawak will enjoy the Sarawak Rural Broadband Network, which is supported by a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) system.

This was disclosed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who had traveled to Long Terawan to launch the initiative, provided by Sarawak Digital Economic Corporation (SDEC) whose chairman is former state secretary Tan Sri Mohd Morshidi Ghani today.

“In rural areas, we use Very Small Aperture Terminal, VSAT. This is what I will bring to villages, as many as 150 of them.

“After this, it will be improved so that it can reach to individual houses. Currently, it is meant only for a location, because the satellite can only provide a small coverage,” said Abang Johari while officiating at the launch of the Sarawak Rural Broadband Network for Long Terawan at SK Penghulu Baya Mallang.

A VSAT system involves a small two-way satellite ground station with a dish antenna that receives and transmits signals to satellites in orbit.

Sarawak Rural Broadband Network which is a Sarawak digital transformation initiative under SDEC, is part of the State’s effort to digitalise Sarawak’s economy and to connect the rural communities with the rest of the world.

By deploying Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology, SDEC has begun its drive to roll out high-speed broadband services to Sarawak’s suburban and rural areas.  The targeted FWA areas are 150 locations spanning schools, educational institutions, longhouses, community centres and religious institutions.

Abang Johari stressed that ever since he took over from late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, his vision has been to provide connectivity to children to assist them with getting an education through the internet and for business communities to grow with online business opportunities.

“Places that used to be far away, have now become very near. Internet connectivity has provided us much convenience and benefits,” said Abang Johari, citing the examples of SK Penghulu Baya Mallang students meeting with their teachers who were in Miri and Kuching respectively, through an online meeting this morning which he witnessed today.

Abang Johari, however, also cautioned that internet provision is like a double-edged sword where the proper use may bring much benefits but the abuse of it, will create division stemming from baseless allegations on social media. — DayakDaily