KUCHING: Sarawak can look forward to better Internet connectivity following the launch of a new submarine cable to Singapore via Batam and a Tier IV data center in the state.

State Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi said the Batam Sarawak Internet cable system (Basics) and data center would be an important part of the digitalization equation to improve Internet connectivity in Sarawak, especially in rural areas.

While launching Basics and the data center he said. “With this infrastructure, latency issues like hanging and being unable to connect will be a thing of the past.”

Both facilities were privately developed by Kuching-based PP Telecommunication Sdn Bhd (PPTEL). Under its new corporate brand identity, Irix.

Julaihi also said the facilities were in line with the state government’s plans to become a high-income economy by 2030. Incorporating digital adoption and data utilization to accelerate development.

“The state government realizes that digitalization is key to transforming the economy and technology is the wave of the future.
“It will be difficult to reach the next level of development without adopting future technologies which depend on connectivity.

“As such, Basics and the data center will play a major role to help Sarawak achieve its target,” he said.

PPTEL chief executive Jonathan Smith said. It consisted of six fiber pairs with 80 wavelengths of 100 Gbps transmission capacity each for a total system capacity of 48 Tbps. Basics was a 700km-long submarine cable connecting Sarawak to the regional telco hub of Singapore via Batam in Indonesia.

“This cable system is the first step in our vision to make Sarawak a viable option as a regional data hub alongside established players. And significantly reduces the latency, or round-trip delay time, between Kuching and Singapore,” he said.

Smith also said the data center in Santubong near here was already operational and provided the landing point for Basics into Sarawak.

He said it was the first data center in Malaysia to be certified as Tier IV by the Uptime Institute. After meeting stringent requirements for infrastructure, security, energy usage, and redundancy.
At the launch ceremony, PPTEL signed a corporate partnership agreement with Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (Sains) on utilizing the infrastructure.