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Borneo, Sarawak

Over 50pct broadband penetration for Sarawak by year-end

OVER 50 per cent of the State will have broadband coverage by the end of the year.

Fantastic news! It is great that the Government realises the importance of Internet access not just for urban areas in the State but also rural and remote villages.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in this day and age, broadband access is as important as electricity and clean water supply.

“Already, 34 Community Broadband Centres offering high speed broadband have been set up in 27 parliamentary constituencies across the state,” he is quoted as saying during the inaugural Sarawak Social Media Convention.

“And thanks to the work of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which is in the process of establishing 600 Wi-Fi connections in rural villages.”

The Prime Minister pointed out that both urban and rural areas in the State would have direct access to the World Wide Web soon.

He said Sarawak is poised to shake off once and for all its reputation as a communications black spot.

“I am determined to do everything possible to bring digital development to our nation’s less developed areas and to close the digital divide and I am confident it will not be long before we see kampung and longhouse dwellers posting messages and pictures on social media sites.”

The Prime Minister said while the government would provide the hardware in terms of infrastructure, Internet users, particularly social media practitioners, must ensure the truth is represented online.

“I would like all of you to intensify and amplify what the government is doing by providing comments, writing, retweeting and uploading photos and videos so that the truth can be shared with our online viewers.”

Datuk Seri Najib added that rural water supply and electricification programmes would cover 90 and 95 per cent of the State respectively by next year.

“And, as areas that were once dependent on generators are transformed by a regular electricity supply, communities once considered out of range will proudly take their place on the information superhighway,” he added.

The Star’s report:

PM: Wider broadband penetration in Sarawak by year-end

KUCHING: The state’s broadband penetration is set to increase to more than 50% by the end of the year.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Government was committed in bringing wider broadband access to the state, particularly in rural areas, as this was equally important as electricity and clean water supply nowadays.

The target in turn would spur the national efforts to achieve a 75% penetration rate across Malaysia by 2015 which meant more than five million households will be online, he said.

“Already, 34 Community Broadband Centres offering high speed broadband have been set up in 27 parliamentary constituencies across the state.

“And thanks to the work of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which is in the process of establishing 600 Wi-Fi connections in rural villages,” he said when launching at the inaugural Social Media Convention here yesterday.

More than 500 social media activists attended the event held by Sarawak Social Media Association (SSMA).

Najib said both urban and rural areas in Sarawak would be directly connected to the world wide web soon.

“I am determined to do everything possible to bring digital development to our nation’s less developed areas and to close the digital divide and I am confident it will not be long before we see kampung and longhouse dwellers posting messages and pictures on social media sites.”

Najib said while the government provided the “hardware” part or infrastructure, Internet users, particularly social media, must play a part in determining the content of what should be online.

“There are already more than 12 million Facebook accounts in our country. I would like all of you to intensify and amplify what the government is doing by providing comments, writing, retweeting and uploading photos and videos so that the truth can be shared with our online viewers.”

He said as the more and more people go online, elected representatives, government and state agencies should becoming more approachable and responsive to the people by increasing their interaction through social media as well.

It was also important non-governmental organisations like the SSMA and others to leverage the power of social media as connectivity improved throughout the region, said Najib.

“My advice is to work closely with the elected representatives, government agencies, educators and local community leaders to harness this new communication tool for the good of the state.

“And crucially, to understand that the news savvy younger generation prefer to source their news online instead of relying on the hardcopy traditional media,” he said.

Traditional institutions and media organisations must adapt to these changes otherwise they would be become irrelevant, he added.

“But we should never forget that, as with any tool, some people will use the Internet for negative purposes as well as positive ones – and we must be alert to those who spread false information against us and make sure that the truth wins out.”

The Bernama report:

Sarawak Poised To Shake Off Communications Black Spot Tag, Says Najib

KUCHING, April 28 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Sarawak is poised to shake off once and for all its reputation as a communications black spot with its broadband penetration set to increase to more than 50 percent by year’s end.

He said, thanks to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s work to establish 600 Wifi connections in rural villages, it would spur the national efforts to achieve a 75 percent penetration rate across Malaysia by 2015.

By then more than five million households would be online, he said when launching the Sarawak Social Media Convention themed “Connect and Engage” here.

“Let us make no mistake – with the federal and state governments intensifying their efforts to develop communications infrastructure, especially in the rural interiors – already 34 community broadband centres offering high speed broadband have been set up in 27 Parliamentary constituencies across the state,” he said.

In terms of internet access, he said, the challenge for the government was to also bring internet to rural Sarawak with the same conviction as its drive to meet basic infrastructure needs like electricity and clean water suppllies.

However, Najib said, connectivity was set to improve dramatically across the board with coverage under the rural water supply and electricification programmes expected to hit 90 and 95 percent respectively by 2013.

“And, as areas that were once dependent on generators are transformed by a regular electricity supply, communities once considered out of range will proudly take their place on the information superhighway,” he said.

He was confident that not just urban areas in Sarawak but more rural Sarawakians would also soon be directly connected to the world wide web.

“I am determined to do everything possible to bring digital development to our nation’s less developed areas and to close the digital divide,” said the prime minister, adding that it would not be long before kampong and longhouse dwellers would be seen posting messages and pictures on social media sites.

For example, he said, there were already more than 12 million Facebook accounts in Malaysia at present.

— BERNAMA

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