Rudiantara, Indonesian Minister of Communication and Information, targets to see the availability of 4G networks across all Indonesian cities and districts by the year 2019. That year the government’s Palapa Ring project is planned to be completed. This project, involving an undersea fiber-optic cable network that stretches across 13,000 km and an onshore network of nearly 22,000 km, will provide fast broadband Internet to Indonesians in the urban and rural areas.
The minister reminded, however, that although the Palapa Ring project is scheduled to be completed by 2019, it does not necessarily mean 4G networks will be available everywhere across Indonesia. However, all cities and districts (in Indonesian: kabupaten) should be connected to the 4G network by then.
Rudiantara explained that it is of vital importance for Indonesia to boost Internet connectivity across the wide nation (the world’s largest archipelago) because many areas are not connected to the Internet yet. There are about 80,000 – out of a total of 226,000 primary schools (SD) and high schools (SMP and SMA) around the country – that do not have an Internet network.
Currently, those Indonesian schools that are connected to the Internet mostly use it for the Computer-Based National Examination (in Indonesian: Ujian Nasional Berbasis Komputer, or UNBK) only, and not so much for the teaching and learning process. Hence, it is also required to boost efficient use of Internet at these schools.
Besides schools, many other important public institutions such as health centers, police stations, army stations (especially in the regions) are without Internet access.
Rudiantara emphasized that when communication infrastructure such as the Palapa Ring project is completed, Indonesia will managed to improve the quality of citizens’ life further.