Papua to enjoy broadband next year

Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua will connect to high-speed Internet. The Communications and Information Ministry said that broadband would make headway into the province in 2013.

Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said that as many as 27 provinces across Indonesia now had access to broadband Internet via the Palapa Ring.

The Palapa Ring is a project aimed at linking Sumatra, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua to eight existing network connections, or backhauls, via approximately 35,380 kilometers of undersea and 2
1,870 kilometers of underground fiber-optic cables.

Fiber optics, unlike copper cables, enable fast data transmission, a prerequisite for broadband Internet. The ministry and a consortium of telecommunication companies kicked off the project, worth US$700 million, in 2009 and targets its completion by 2014.

“The establishing of broadband connections has been carried out across the provincial capital cities located on Java island,” he said on Tuesday (11/12).

He added that major cities and industrial hubs including Jakarta and its surrounding areas, as well as Bandung and Semarang, were already connected to broadband Internet.

However, five cities still have to wait until next year for broadband connections. “The cities include Jayapura, the capital of Papua, Manokwari [West Papua capital], and Ternate [in North Maluku], in addition to Kendari in Southeast Sulawesi and Ambon [Maluku capital],” he said.

He added that broadband penetration across the 27 provinces was “still low, lower than 12 percent”. “Ideally, the penetration rate should be at 100 percent,” he said.

He added that the government aimed to connect all major cities and industrial hubs in Indonesia with broadband connections by 2015.

“Our target is to even connect homes with fiber optic cables,” he said.

Under the national broadband plan, the government plans to transform Indonesia into a knowledge-based society by 2015 by improving Internet access. By 2020, the government expects the country to have gone digital through the application of e-government initiatives.

However, besides the still low Internet penetration rates, e-government schemes have lagged. Several regions have pushed back the disbursement dates for electronic identification, or e-KTP.

Tifatul said the contribution of information technology, which includes the Internet, toward the gross domestic production (GDP) has risen in the last decade.

A study by the World Bank shows that a 10 percent rise in broadband penetration would increase GDP by 1.38 percent.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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Filed under Democracy, Development, Education, Papua

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