KUCHING: The state government is committed to ensuring that all of Sarawak, including remote villages, will have Internet connectivity by 2024.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said satellite broadband technology would be used to provide connectivity to 600 villages in the state that still lack Internet access.

“It is a challenge to install fibre optic coverage or telecommunication towers in remote areas in Sarawak. The final solution is to use satellite technology,” he said during the distribution of PerantiSiswa tablets to students at the Teacher Education Institute Batu Lintang Campus here yesterday.

Annuar added that the satellite broadband services would be put in place as part of the National Digital Network (Jendela) plan, and that this would start happening next year.

He said Internet connectivity was important to ensure that every Malaysian had an equal opportunity to be knowledgeable and keep up with the latest developments around the world.

On the PerantiSiswa scheme, which provides free tablets to B40 students, Annuar said 350,000 applications had been received under Phases One and Two.

He said applications for both phases would be processed at the same time and that devices would be sent out on an on-going basis so that successful applicants would not have to wait too long for them.

“We hope to distribute at least 80% of the devices to the recipients by the end of November,” Annuar added.