Indonesia’s KOMINFO manages RP2.5-trillion USO fund for telecommunications infrastructure

An announcement made by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics (KOMINFO) highlighted that the annual funding they manage for the construction of telecommunications infrastructure is used in widening the coverage of broadband internet. 

Director of the Telecommunications and Information Accessibility Agency (BAKTI) Anang Latif said that on average, they manage an annual universal telecommunication and informatics service area (USO) fund worth RP 2.5 trillion for the construction of telecommunications infrastructure.

Included in the infrastructure development programs being run by the government is the Palapa Ring development project. It is a fibre optic cable construction program that will serve as the backbone of a network that reaches all remote areas of Indonesia.

Palapa Ring program consists of three packages, West, Central, and East. In a discussion initiated by the Indonesia LTE Community during the “Indonesia towards Digital Paradise” at Balai Kartini, Jakarta, Mr Anang said, "Hopefully, by next year, all the packages of the Palapa Ring project from West to East will be finished and commercialised.”

According to him, the construction of the Palapa Ring project is almost complete with a targeted finish by the end of 2018. Currently, the West Package is completed and officially operational. Meanwhile, the construction of the Central Package has reached 76% and the development of East Package is at 46%.

Mr Benyamin Sura, General Director of Post and Informatics of KOMINFO, said that the development of infrastructure for remote and remote areas in Indonesia requires innovation and collaboration from all stakeholders.

He added that the digital economy should be felt by all levels of society.  Indonesia still needs to provide infrastructure to remote areas.

“We have an Indonesian broadband plan; the internet targets to be achieved are there but it takes a lot of innovation and collaboration from all parties in order for the current penetration rate of 7.87% to reach double digits like in mobile,” said Mr Benjamin.

KOMINFO data show that rural areas in Indonesia that have 3G broadband internet network is at 73.02% of a total of 83,218 villages. On the one hand, coverage of the new 4G LTE network reaches 55.05%.

The government targets that 100% of the villages in all of the country’s regions will have affordable 3G network in 2019. Also, they expect that 100% of 514 districts and municipalities will experience affordable 4G LTE network, as compared to the current 64%.

“It is expected that operators can maximize the presence of the Palapa Ring infrastructure in order to bring the digital economy in the remote areas,” he added.

Mr Agus Witjaksono, Vice-President for Network Deployment of Telkomsel, said it will utilise USO funds in order to remain consistent with its support to the government efforts in telecom network development programs in the remote areas.

“One of the things we've worked with BAKTI is to provide cellular telecommunication access for people in the universal telecommunication and informatics service area (USO),” Mr Agus said.

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