Bad Internet connections a problem at some T'ganu tourist spots, say residents and visitors

KUALA TERENGGANU: Poor Internet connectivity disrupts the learning process and mars tourist spots in Terengganu, locals and visitors say.

Rozilawati Karim, 47, who lives in Kampung Gondang, Marang said her children and their cousins had to move out to other areas in order to have better reception.

"Its hard for my children to attend online classes or communicate with their lecturers whenever they are back home.

"Things get worse if it rains," she told The Star recently.

Internet connectivity was not their only problem, she added.

"We also have poor telecommunications service – only one line (sic) can be used in this area," she said.

Rozilawati hoped the authorities would do their part to improve connections in their areas.

"In other states, they are already talking about 5G and we hope to have a taste of it, or at least let us have what other states are getting (the level of Internet connectivity)," she added.

Muhammad Luqman Hakim Mahari, 22, from Besut, said he had no choice but to go back to campus so that he could work on his assignments and study.

"I live near the government offices, and it is not too rural, but still it was really hard for me to attend online classes because the Internet connection around my area is unstable," he said, adding that telecommunications reception was bad as well.

While Terengganu is known far and wide for its natural beauty and cultural landmarks, the poor internet connectivity also affects visitors' holiday experience.

Tourist Aishah Nordin, 20, said she depended on navigation applications to find her way around the state but poor signal strength caused problems.

"My navigation apps could not work in some areas, so I had to just rely on my instincts.

"The lack of signboards does not help," she added.

Poor signal strength also made it hard for her to communicate with friends and family back home in Kuala Lumpur.

State Tourism director Fadli Yusof Zakaria felt, however, that Aishah's experience was an isolated case.

"As far as we know, there are not many areas in mainland tourist spots (in the state) affected by poor Internet coverage, (although) there are one or two areas in Kenyir and parts of Pulau Tango.

"From the feedback so far, there is no issue on the mainland except in the new community-based tourism spots such as waterfalls, or villages that are far from the city, which we are developing (for tourism)," he said, adding that the majority of the complaints received were from event organisers who needed strong and stable Internet connection for their functions.

Fadli said the agency had provided houseboat operators in Kenyir with information on areas with good coverage that they could stop to allow their visitors access to the Internet.

"We can’t cover all the areas because (service providers) will normally see if the investment is worth the (returns)," he noted.

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