Measat stepping up National Rural Broadband Connectivity via CONNECTme NOW
MEASAT – Malaysia’s premier satellite operator, is continuing to support Malaysia’s national broadband aspirations via its CONNECTme NOW high-speed satellite broadband service that provides internet access to communities in rural and remote areas, in locations that are not covered by 4G or fibre connectivity. MEASAT’s focus on connecting the unconnected in Malaysia builds on its position as an integral part of Malaysia’s ICT infrastructure, with an investment of over RM7.6 billion in satellite communications infrastructure over the past 25 years, making it one of the strongest regional satellite operators in Asia Pacific.
“Since the start of the pandemic, it is clearer than ever to Malaysians that internet access is no longer a luxury but is a necessity for all. With education, economic activity and social interactions moved into online spaces, stable and accessible internet connectivity is a must, which in turn motivates us to overcome the logistical challenges of providing a truly inclusive broadband service. Our dedicated team has soldiered on, mobilising on-ground support to ensure that we continued going into hard-to-reach locations in order to provide internet connectivity. We are proud that we have managed to install more than 2,000 CONNECTme NOW sites to date – including 1,183 sites in Sarawak and 243 in Sabah, serving over 200,000 broadband connections nationwide. Building on this momentum, we hope to raise this number to 300,000 connections by the end of this year,” said Yau Chyong Lim, Chief Operating Officer of MEASAT.
“One of the proudest attributes of the diverse team at MEASAT is our deep understanding of the culture, infrastructure and requirements of rural Malaysia. CONNECTme NOW is not just about the technology, but it’s about understanding the needs of the people that use our service. It’s about humanising technology, which we feel is critical in achieving the goals of Malaysia’s Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) initiative,” Yau added.
Meanwhile, Ganendra Selvaraj, Associate VP of MEASAT said CONNECTme NOW is aimed at improving the socio-economic wellbeing of communities by providing internet connectivity that helps them stay in touch with friends and family regardless of distance, and also enables them to participate in the digital economy through an affordable prepaid solution. By employing a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) and High Throughput Satellite (HTS) technology, MEASAT enables CONNECTme NOW users to access the internet through Prepaid Access Code (PAC) vouchers, with no contract or fixed monthly charges, putting power and control in the hands of users.
“We are proud that CONNECTme NOW has helped connect the underserved communities, through deployment in various Kampung Orang Asli across the Titiwangsa Range in Peninsular Malaysia and also at sites in East Malaysia, which are far from terrestrial connectivity. Very recently, we worked with the Sabah Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (KSTI) to expand deployment of the CONNECTme NOW service in 50 remote locations across Sabah. We also supported vaccination efforts in Sabah, where we sponsored broadband data offered through our CONNECTme NOW service at vaccination centres in the Kota Kinabalu region serving remote communities, covering close to 2,000 people,” Ganendra added.
Following the success of CONNECTme NOW in Malaysia, MEASAT aims to take this service and technology internationally to our neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia, expanding to connect their unconnected populations. In the near term, MEASAT looks forward to announcing the launch of MEASAT-3d in early 2022, which will address internet connectivity needs for 100% of the unserved population when MEASAT-3d is operational. MEASAT is committed to supporting the Government of Malaysia’s aspirations to connect the population, in its position as the only Rural Telco that presently provides high speed satellite broadband services to rural communities across Malaysia. In line with this, MEASAT will continue to invest in satellite infrastructure and technology to further its contribution towards closing the digital gap and enabling a better connected future for Malaysia.