Abang Johari (seated) speaks at a press conference while (from left) Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas; Muara Tuang assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang; Stakan assemblyman Datuk Seri Mohammad Ali Mahmud; Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development (Manred) Assistant Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn; Manred Assistant Minister and Sarawak Farmers' Association (PPNS) chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail; and Manred permanent secretary Edwin Abit look on. Photo: Ramidi Subari



KUCHING: Sarawak’s rural areas will have better internet facilities as the state government is going to launch a network using ‘Very Small Aperture Terminal Technology’ (VSAT) in the next two months.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state government has already approved RM50 million for the purpose.

“You see, we have the towers there (in the rural areas) but there are no satellite dishes because the telecommunication service providers don’t want to go there. They claimed there is no demand.

“So, I decided that we use this satellite facility called VSAT as it has a speed of 30mbps compared to the current 5mbps,” he said at the earth-breaking ceremony for the buildings of the Sarawak Farmers’ Association (PPNS) adjacent to the Kota Samarahan Bus Terminal.

Later at a press conference, he said the state government through the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) will handle the VSAT facility, the coverage of which will stretch from Kuching to Lawas.

“This is one of the ways to develop the agricultural sector in the rural areas — using internet facilities. In other words, they can make use of e-wallets such Sarawak Pay,” he said.

He added that between 2024 and 2025, the whole of Sarawak will have telecommunication facilities, roads, bridges, electricity and water supplies.

“They will make it easier for rural people to market their products domestically and abroad,” said Abang Johari.