SANDAKAN, March 26 — The government is currently installing fibre optic Point of Presence (PoP) network hubs in 700 rural schools in Sabah to ensure the stability of broadband internet services for people in the state.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said phase one of the PoP project would ensure more areas that previously did not have stable connections, received high-quality internet access.

“In Sabah, we find many more schools in rural areas that do not have fibre optic (connections). Although we provide internet service using wireless or satellite technology, the service is found to be unstable and not strong enough.

“The proof is when we see and read news of people who cannot get the ‘line’ (connection) and have to climb trees or hills to get internet access, and the solution to this problem is if the school or area can be supplied with fibre optics, then a more stable broadband service can be provided,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after the ‘Jelajah #SayaDigital Bootcamp’ programme for entrepreneurs in Batu Sapi here today.

Annuar said in Sabah, the government would have to spend a lot to develop the PoP project in tandem with the National Digital Network (JENDELA) programme so that within two years, the state would receive high quality 4G internet and be prepared for 5G.

“Sabah and Sarawak need to be developed. When it comes to 4G, this region must be modernised, as they are both major contributors to the country’s economy.

“The budget needs to be big for Sabah and Sarawak because both areas are large. If it’s RM1 for Kelantan, it can’t be RM1 for Sabah,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said the government also opened a new tender involving almost 3,000 PoP installations in selected locations including schools and industrial areas nationwide costing RM4 billion. — Bernama