KUCHING: Soon Sarawak will be one of the first two countries in the world to use satellite balloons as a step towards closing the digital gap between the urban and rural areas.
The area identified for this pilot project is SMK Temenggong Datuk Lawai Jau in Long San, a school deep in the interior of Baram.
Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau disclosed that the satellite balloon project was initiated by Silicon Valley, an American company that chose two locations – Sarawak and Africa – to run this project concurrently.
Developed by Google, the state government together with Silicon Valley will conduct proper research on the technology that will transform and bring about development through the digital economy.
Dennis said Baram was chosen because it is a very remote area and this will be done through the digital economy or smart technology.
“Our community is very happy and excited about this project. It will definitely benefit a few thousand villagers from over 20 longhouses in Baram. For them, it is a long held dream to be able to use mobile phones, access the Internet and mobile data and so on,” he said after attending the Sarawak United Youth Organisation (Saberkas) supreme council meeting today.
He added that Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg recently said the new technology is needed to make communication easier and if this project is successful, the state government will consider using it in other areas in Sarawak.