KUCHING: PP Telecommunication Sdn Bhd (PPTEL) plans to set up an Internet data exchange hub at a cost of US$20 million (RM80 million) in Kuching to provide the vital link for the state’s digital economy to take off.
According to its executive director Dato Stanley Ling Tiung Leng, the private initiative is to tap the state’s huge potential in digital economy as well as the relatively competitive cost energy source, which is crucial for the data hub to operate.
“We chose to set up the internet data exchange hub in Kuching because of various reasons. But the main reason is to assist the state in developing its digital economy, which has huge potential.
“On top of that, we are also very keen to work closely with the state government under Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who has initiated various policies particularly on the digital economy,” Ting told the media here yesterday.
He also said that to ensure the internet data exchange hub is well connected to the international markets, PPTEL will also lay down an optic submarine cable from Kuching to Singapore, via Batam Island, at a cost of US$40 mln (RM160 mln). Both internet data exchange hub and the submarine cable projects are expected to be ready for service by October this year.
“The idea of having international gateway is to provide a direct link between Sarawak and the international market,” he said.
Ling also said they would make another link from Kuching to Hong Kong, to be built through collaboration with a few Asean countries.
“This particularly link is initiated by CAT of Thailand, and we are chosen as one of the lending parties. The other lending parties are Vietnam telco, Cambodia telco as well as China Telecom,” he said, adding that the project is undertaken by Konsortium THK Cables.
Meanwhile, China’s Wuhan FiberHome International (M) Sdn Bhd CEO Jimmy Yan said his company is now doing the necessary marine survey in order to lay down the fibre optic cable between Kuching and Singapore.
“We hope that the second link between Sarawak and Hong Kong will be ready for service by 2020.”
Yan said once Sarawak is linked to the international internet gateway, the digital economy would work smoothly.
“Once we have the international internet gateway in place, our rate will be very competitive. With that competitiveness; with cheap rate and faster internet speed, those who depend on internet service can reach out to the main players throughout the world.
“With the ease of doing business through the formation of Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), the speed of digital economy and the CM’s vision of digital economy will materialise.”
Yan foresees that once all the necessary digital infrastructure are in place, the state’s digital economy would start booming as early as 2025.
Yan also said PPTEL would become a strategic partner with China’s Wuhan FiberHome International, which will supply the fibre optic that PPTEL needs for its submarine cable project.