Sarawak Approves RM50 Mln VSAT to Improve Rural Internet Coverage

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Sarawak government has approved use of the new VSAT (very small aperture terminal) technology worth about RM50 million to improve Internet connectivity in rural Sarawak.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today said this was due to many telecommunications companies refusing to provide broadband coverage in the state’s rural areas due to an insufficient market although the Sarawak government had provided the telecommunications towers.

“The speed (broadband) of this V-SAT technology is 30 megabits per second (mbps) including the use of WiFi, so this will make it easier for rural farmers to sell their agricultural products and to connect with buyers,” he said when officiating at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Sarawak State Farmers’ Organisation (PPNS) building, here.

Abang Johari said the Sarawak Multimedia Authority had also been instructed to build the building and provide the VSAT technology as soon as possible so that it could be used by people outside the state, including those in the field of agriculture in the next four or five years.

He also announced that the new PPNS building, after completion, would be equipped with various latest technology in agriculture including the Internet of things (IoT).

“We will showcasen the technology in this area (building) that uses IoT to teach farmers how to use this technology (for agricultural automation),” he said.

Abang Johari said apart from the IoT, the building would also showcase various machines and robotic technology that could be used in agriculture, including those that could transport agricultural products.

The new PPNS building, estimated to cost RM20 million, will be built through an allocation from the Sarawak government, on a three-acre (1.2-hectare) site. It is expected to be completed by March 2022.

It will be a meeting place for all 28 Area Farmers’ Organisations in Sarawak, as well as a training place and gallery promoting local farmers’ products.