By S. Harrish
STUDENTS from the Nanga Sumpa village in Batang Ai will no longer need to go jungle trekking in serach of internet connection as they now have access to the internet in their village.
The Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) announced the rollout of satellite broadband internet connectivity solutions by Reach 10 as part of its corporate social responsibility to address the plight of the students there.
Using Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), the school children at Nanga Sumpa are now able to resume their online education and the villagers can stay connected with the outside world.
“We realise that we have the capability to quickly resolve the connectivity issue for these children and we are thrilled to be able to make a difference to them and the villagers there,” said Leo Chin, chief executive officer of Reach 10 in a statement issued by SMA.
The agency said Nanga Sumpa has long been Sarawak’s premier eco-tourism destination, well-known for its community tourism initiative, pristine landscape and wild orang-utan spotting experience.
It is a one and half hour longboat ride from the Batang Ai Lake with no road access.
“Nevertheless, we are aware of the fact that there are many areas in Sarawak, especially the rural areas that have not received comprehensive and stable communication coverage due to geographical and technical challenges,” said SMA general manager Dr Zaidi Razak.
SMA said it would strive to roll out the Sarawak Multimedia Authority Linking Urban, Rural and Nation (Saluran) 200 project to target villages such as Nanga Jambu by February next year.
This comes after the plight of students there were highlighted when a teacher led students from Nanga Sumpa and Nanga Jambu villages in Lubok Antu on a two-and-a-half hour jungle trek to get internet connectivity.