KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s rural areas are in urgent need of better broadband coverage for not only education purposes but for daily communication needs, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam.
Dr Joachim who is also state Industrial Development Minister said on Monday (Dec 7) that good and effective broadband coverage in rural Sabah was important for the students, especially those in higher learning institutions who have to follow their lessons online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The problem of Sabah’s poor Internet access in rural areas was once again highlighted when eight people trying to find better Internet reception were injured after a hanging bridge collapsed in Kampung Gusi in Ranau.
Dr Joachim said that he has brought up the matter to the attention of the Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah during a recent teleconversation.
Following the incident, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) was in the process of providing broadband service to the village using Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) that will be done by Dec 15.
Dr Joachim appreciated the swift action taken by the Federal Government through the Communications and Multimedia Ministry.
At the same time, he also thanked Chief Minister of Sabah Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor for giving priority to Kampung Gusi where three telecommunication towers would be built under the National Digital Network (Jendela).
Dr Joachim said that with better Internet coverage, it would be easier for the villagers to access information on the latest government’s programme including small scheme industry that is possible in their village.
This is line with the government’s aspirations of One Village One Industry, he added.
On Sunday (Dec 6), Dr Joachim visited the site of the collapsed 150m long hanging bridge at Kampung Gusi and assured that it would be rebuilt soon.
He said the bridge was an important lifeline to the villagers who need to ferry their produce to markets across the river. They are currently using small boats to cross the river.
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