Hoping to have wide rural broadband services soon

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: It hoped that Internet connectivity in the rural areas in particular can be resolved as soon as possible, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

She said she welcomes the good efforts taken by Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to ramp up broadband connectivity to underserved areas in Sarawak.

She said by working together, the two organisations can come with a mapping of underserved areas in Sarawak.

“Hence, through this, they can work out an understanding of which agency to serve which area so that wider and greater areas can be covered concurrently,” she told New Sarawak Tribune on Monday (Nov 30).

Fatimah, who is also the Dalat assemblywoman, said as an elected representative of underserved areas, she hoped that the issue on Internet connectivity can be resolved as soon as possible.

“This issue tops the list of people’s needs during the Covid-19. It is no more a luxury, but it is essential need for the education sector, economic and communication activities,” she said.

SMA on Monday (Nov 29) said the authority and MCMC have agreed in principle on the urgent need to ramp up broadband connectivity to underserved areas in Sarawak.

The authority said together with MCMC, they will work together to find the best solution to fulfil the communication needs of all Sarawakians.

They are among other initiatives that have been taken by SMA to provide connectivity such as through SMA’s SMART project, deployment of Very Small Aperture Terminals under Sarawak Multimedia Authority Linking Urban, and Rural and Nation (SALURAN) 200 plan as an interim connectivity solution to targeted areas.

On the other hand, MCMC last Nov 20 announced the commencement of phase one of the Pelan Jalinan Digital Negara (Jendela) with the issuance of the first invitation for the submission of draft plans for the provisioning of public cellular and mobile broadband services at 1,661 locations nationwide.

Out the 1,661 locations identified by the Commission, a total 636 locations are located in Sarawak.