Malaysia’s rural broadband CONNECTme NOW not the answer to internet constraints in Sarawak

PRS Youth secretary Bit Surang

KUCHING, June 10: CONNECTme NOW, Malaysia’s first prepaid satellite broadband WiFi Hotspot service for rural broadband connectivity is not the answer to the internet constraints in Sarawak rural areas.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth secretary Bit Surang said the long-term strategy the Sarawak government is pushing for, is the installation of fiberoptic connectivity and telecommunication towers throughout the State.

“For such a big State and with our sparsely populated demographics, that will be our long term strategy.

“CONNECTme is not the answer because it has 1G (limited) capacity and is only good for short radius calls,” he said.

Touching on the topic of rural connectivity, he echoed a previous statement by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing who said the current vaccination procedure under the MySejahtera system is discriminating against the rural population that may not even have mobile phones or internet connectivity.

If everyone were to depend on the MySejahtera app, Bit said Sarawak’s rural population would never get vaccinated in time due to internet access and related constraints.

“Thus, our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s suggestion for our rural folks to be vaccinated without prior registration when he visited the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccination centre at BCCK (Borneo Convention Centre Kuching) is much welcomed as this would ensure Sarawakians are vaccinated timely as scheduled,” he said in a statement today.

While emphasising that the installation of telecommunication towers especially in the rural is a long-term solution to a more connected Sarawak, he said such huge projects would take time.

“This demands our patience because building the proper infrastructure will take time. The imposition of the MCO (Movement Control Order) also prevents its construction,” he added. — DayakDaily