600 villages in West Java, Indonesia will be able to experience free Wi-Fi because of this new initiative that aims to remove the digital divide between cities and villages.
According to a recent press release, the Desa Digital or Digital Village initiative is a project between the Telecommunication and Information Accessibility Agency of the Ministry of Communication and Information and the West Java Provincial Government.
Providing Internet access
The aim of the project was to remove the digital divide so that villages, and not only cities, can have access to the internet.
Internet access will be given to villages that have remained disconnected.
As part of the program, the Ministry will be providing training and education to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) volunteers, who will be working with the residents.
The initiative also aims to improve community literacy in various fields by utilising digital technology in the process of educating them.
Villagers will be guided on the proper use of the internet, teaching them digital literacy and veering them away from negative content such as hoaxes.
In addition, residents will be taught how to use the internet in order to maximise MSME opportunities such as e-commerce.
To gain access to the internet, the Agency facilitated the installation of internal very small aperture terminals (VSATs) in different locations.
These locations include the village hall, the village office, schools and the health centre.
VSAT systems provide high speed broadband satellite communications for Internet or private network communications.
West Java has 5,312 villages having various IDM scales. Through this initiative, the Indonesian Government and the provincial government are working together to connect all these villages.
The Governor of West Java hopes that after this initial installation, the rest of the villages will also have access to Wi-Fi as well, and if possible, to increasing the target to 1,000 villages per year.
Connecting the villages to the internet will provide the residents with the capability to use information and communication channels such as WhatsApp, making it easier to get in touch with village officials.
Social media channels like photo-sharing applications, meanwhile, can also be utilised by the villagers so that they can promote village potential.
Digital Village will help in educating the younger generation in learning the English language. Having internet connection will give them access to online learning and training with overseas teachers.
The initiative will advance open access to information and education as well as increase productivity and exposure of the local products.
Having an increased product exposure will encourage Village-Owned Enterprises to expand their target market by using e-commerce or market place channels to sell their wares.
Digital innovation, as evidenced here, will greatly improve on the people’s welfare.