Two network sites for every state constituency

Dr Zaidi Razak

By Nur Shazreena Ali & Sarah Hafizah

KUCHING: The Sarawak government will continue to bridge the digital gap between rural and urban areas through the Sarawak Multimedia Authority’s (SMA) Linking Urban, Rural and Nation (Saluran) initiative.

SMA general manager Dr Zaidi Razak said the Saluran project, costing over RM20 million, would be targeted at 200 underserved sites as interim connectivity solution.

“Under this initiative, we will install internet connectivity at two sites for every state constituency. To date, we have installed 50 over under Saluran.

“Among the constituencies that have been installed are Pantai Damai, Simunjan, Julau,” he said when met by the media at Kampung Sungai Aur near Telaga Air here on Monday (Feb 22).

He said under the Saluran programme, internet capacity was rolled out based on necessity usage.

“Under this initiative, the state government provides some sort of subsidy whereby the internet capacity will be sufficient if you utilise it for the benefit and necessity.

“Those registered with Saluran, we provide them 1GB Internet access for a month. This capacity is sufficient if it’s utilised for business.”

The Saluran initiative by Sarawak government through SMA together with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), he added, was part of the mission to enhance internet coverage in Sarawak.

“Enhancing and expanding 4G coverage is vital to ensure the availability of telco services to the rakyat in all corners of the nation.

“The surge in demand for broadband caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted MCMC to revise its plans and targets for building a robust national digital infrastructure.”