Telecom company irix launches 700 km Batam Sarawak internet cable system

Sarawak’s Minister of Utilities and Telecommunications Datuk Julaihi Nawari speaks to reporters after the launch of Batam Sarawak Internet Cable System and Data Center in Kuching on September 6, 2022. – Image by Sulok Tawie

By Sulok Tawie

Tuesday, September 6, 2022 2:31 PM MYT

KUCHING, Sept. 6 — Sarawak-based telecommunications company irix, which is the brand identity of PP Telecommunication Sdn Bhd, today launched its 700km Batam Sarawak Internet Cable System (BaSICS) and call center Tier IV (irix DC) data, heralding the start of a new era in improved internet connectivity for all Sarawakians and Borneo residents.

Utilities and Telecommunications Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi said BaSICS and the Tier IV data center in Santubong are part of the digitization equation to improve connectivity in Sarawak.

“These will establish the backbone needed to take Sarawak’s internet connectivity to the next level,” he told reporters after the launch.

He expressed the hope that industry players will enjoy more advantages to participate in the digital economy in the near future.

“I believe this will accelerate our economic development by 2030,” Julaihi said, adding it was another success story from a local Sarawak-based company.

PP Telecommunication CEO Jonathan Smith said Sarawakians can expect better internet access, improved quality of life and potential for endeavors such as e-commerce, working arrangements hybrids and online entertainment for Sarawakians, and eventually the rest of Borneo and Kalimantan.

He said for this to happen, a strong internet backbone connecting Sarawak to the rest of the world must be in place.

“That’s what we as irix strive to do. Today we see the next chapter in our story – the launch of our Batam Sarawak Internet Cable System (BaSICS) and Tier IV Data Center in Santubong,” he said.

BaSICS is an undersea cable system, privately developed by irix, that connects Batam in Indonesia to Sarawak, landing at irix DC in Santubong where terrestrial networks can carry enhanced internet access to all parts of the Sarawak and Borneo, including Kalimantan.

The irix DC is the first and only data center designed and certified Tier IV in Malaysia, offering enhanced redundancies without downtime.

The two facilities form an initial phase of Sarawak’s international internet gateway, in line with the aspirations of the Sarawak State Government’s Digital Transformation Agenda.

Following the launch, PP Telecommunication, represented by Smith, and Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (SAINS), represented by its managing director Busiai Seman, signed a customer agreement.

Smith said PP Telecommunications looks forward to working with other industry partners, such as ISPs and mobile operators, to utilize its infrastructure.

Sean B. Jackson