Faster Internet connectivity: Sarawak-Batam undersea cable completed, Malaysia’s first Tier-IV Data Centre in Santubong next

A photo collage photo of cable laying works for Batam Sarawak Internet Cable System (BaSICS).

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KUCHING, May 12: With an undersea cable connecting Sarawak and Batam, Indonesia completed which will land and connect directly to an upcoming Malaysia’s first Tier-IV “Zero Downtime” Data Centre in Santubong, Sarawak is set to become one of region’s key hubs of international connectivity.

Dubbed the Batam Sarawak Internet Cable System (BaSICS), it is the first international telecommunication submarine cable developed by Sarawak-based international telecommunication infrastructure provider PP Telecommunication (PPTEL), with XL Axiata as its landing partner in Batam, and supplied by FibreHome.

This was revealed in a media release today by PPTEL in announcing its second international submarine cable system project, called South East Asia Hainan-Hong Kong Express Cable System (SEA-H2X), that will stretch over 5,000km and boasts speeds of 160 terabits per second to connect Hong Kong, Hainan China, Philippines, Thailand, East Malaysia (with landing in Sarawak) and Singapore, with options to extend to Vietnam, Cambodia, West Malaysia and Indonesia.


PPTEL has partnered with cabling consortium and telecoms namely China Mobile International Limited (CMI), China Unicom Global (CUG), and Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions, Inc (Converged) from the Philippines to build and operate the SEA-H2X.

The parties involved believe the project, targeted to be ready-for-service in 2024, will greatly enhance intra-Asian connectivity and benefit businesses and consumers.

A photo collage of cable laying work at Santubong for Batam Sarawak Internet Cable System (BaSICS).

PPTEL chief executive officer (CEO) Jonathan Smith emphasised that these major efforts to construct the Sarawak International Internet Gateway (SIIG) are in line with the aspirations of the Sarawak government’s Digital Transformation Programme.

“The SSIG comprised five core components namely the BaSICS and the Tier-IV Carrier Neutral Data Centre that has been accredited by Uptime Institute – Malaysia’s first Tier IV ‘Zero Downtime’ Data Centre serving mission critical businesses in the region.

“The other components are an international cross border terrestrial fibre network connecting the Cable Landing Station (CLS) and Data Centre in Santubong, to major towns across Sarawak, Kalimantan and Brunei Darussalam,” he said.

Sarawak, he continued, is being positioned to be the main telecommunication gateway for Borneo to connect directly to the regional telecommunication hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore.

“This regional Internet exchange complements PPTEL’s data centre, to provide direct connectivity to the multiple Internet exchanges in the region, from Kuching,” he added.

A map showing the route for BaSICS.

As for the SEA-H2X submarine cable system, Smith pointed out that it will bring much needed Internet capacity, speed and availability directly into Sarawak, but also deliver to meet the increasing needs of a wider market in Hong Kong, Hainan China and Southeast Asia regions.

“PPTEL SEA-H2X is transforming the telecoms landscape in Malaysia from our home base in Kuching, where we are launching the first Tier IV Data Centre in the region in Q1 2022, co-located with our new CLS at Santubong.

“Our strategic location allows us to offer new low latency routings between China and Jakarta, via SEA-H2X and BaSICS, which is also expected to be completed in Q1 2022.

“With extensive fibre reach throughout Malaysia and Indonesia through our partner XL, we are providing the backbone for the Sarawak government’s Digital Transformation 2030 ambitions both domestically and internationally,” he said in the statement. — DayakDaily

A collage photo of the progress of Batam CLS (top) and Tier-IV Data Centre and CLS in Kuching.