KUCHING: Rural areas in Sebauh district are now able to enjoy high-speed internet service following the recent completion of the state government’s Sebauh Rural High-Speed Open Broadband Network project.
Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the project involved an expansion of fibre optic cables to connect 49 longhouses, six schools, two higher education institutions and three government offices in the district.
“The Sarawak government’s strategy is to build digital infrastructure to widen the coverage and provide connectivity, especially to rural communities.
“With Sarawak’s vast landscape, it is estimated that we will need 7,000 telecommunication structures to achieve 99.9 per cent internet penetration throughout Sarawak,” he said at the opening of the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak 2022 (IDECS 2022) at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching today.
Under the Sarawak Linking Urban, Rural and Nation (SALURAN) initiative, he said the state had planned to build SMART 600 towers under the Sarawak Multimedia Authority Rural Telecommunication (SMART) project.
Abang Johari said the federal government through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had planned 742 more new towers statewide through the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (JENDELA).
“The first 300 SMART 600 Phase 1 towers are targeted for completion by the third quarter of 2022 with Phase 2 (second 300 towers) by the fourth quarter of 2023.”
As part of SALURAN, he said, 158 Sarawak Rural Broadband Network (MySRBN) sites across the state had been implemented to connect rural families and communities.
“In upcoming phases, MySRBN will be extended across all the SMART 600 infrastructure, and aims to provide home broadband services for 100,000 rural homes in the next few years,” he revealed.
As for far-reaching areas, Abang Johari explained that the government had equipped 250 sites with Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) under the Wi-Fi SALURAN project.
“This is an interim solution to give internet access to the underserved community whereby 86,562 users have benefited to date,” he said.