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Indonesia: Collaborating for a Connected Future

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Collaboration became centre stage during the pandemic as organisations scrambled to communicate and finish work. Collaboration is not only about completing tasks but also about exchanging knowledge and creating innovative solutions. When people come together, especially from diverse backgrounds, they can bring unique perspectives that lead to fresh and effective ideas.

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This shift provides a chance to reassess the strategic approach to utilising Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to enhance the provision of public value, especially as governments globally grapple with diminishing levels of public trust.

Through digital transformation, governments are embracing the extensive use of ICTs to enhance the nation’s operations, services, and citizen engagement. The success of the nation’s digital transformation frequently hinges on the capacity of various government or non-government entities to collaborate toward common goals.

In light of this, the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII) highlights the importance of collaboration between foreign and local Internet service providers (ISPs) in Indonesia. According to the Chairman of APJII, Muhammad Arif, this collaboration is crucial to ensure the sustainability of the country’s internet industry ecosystem. This is particularly significant given the news of foreign ISPs, such as those owned by Elon Musk, planning to market their products in Indonesia.

Arif emphasises that the business perspective needs to seriously consider the impact of foreign ISPs, especially on local ISPs that are part of APJII. Indonesia has over 1,000 local ISPs that have contributed to building the country’s internet infrastructure. Therefore, Arif states that collaboration between foreign ISPs and local ISPs is essential to maintain a balanced internet industry in the future.

Arif’s comments were triggered by reports of foreign ISPs, including those owned by Elon Musk, starting to market their products in Indonesia. APJII sees the presence of committed foreign ISPs in Indonesia as a step towards levelling the playing field and enhancing the quality of the internet in the country.

The technology used by foreign ISPs, such as utilising Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, is considered inevitable and should be leveraged to ensure equitable distribution and enhancement of internet quality for all Indonesians. APJII believes that collaboration is essential to ensure that the areas currently served by local industry players remain viable and healthy.

Arif suggests that one form of collaboration could involve product marketing, with local ISPs promoting foreign ISPs’ products. This approach could benefit foreign ISPs in entering the Indonesian market and create opportunities for local players to expand their reach and capabilities through partnerships. Additionally, collaboration could extend to knowledge sharing and technology transfer, enabling local players to enhance their expertise and infrastructure.

Earlier, the Director General of the Post and Informatics Organisation of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Wayan Tony Supriyanto, revealed that a telecommunications company from the United States has begun to fulfil the requirements for operating in Indonesia. The company has applied for two permits in Indonesia, namely for using VSAT technology and a permit as an internet service provider.

“In the permit application, the company has applied for two types of permits, namely a permit for using VSAT technology and a permit as an internet service provider. To use VSAT technology, they have built a hub and device station and obtained permission from SDPPI,” said Wayan.

Meanwhile, according to Wayan, obtaining a permit as a telecommunications service provider is still in the stage of a cooperation agreement. If all requirements are met, the international company can provide services to the public like other telecommunications service providers in Indonesia. This shows that the Indonesian government is giving serious attention to foreign telecommunications companies wishing to operate in Indonesia, ensuring they meet all relevant requirements.

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