INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION AND MASS MEDIA
DEVELOPMENT IN INDONESIA
A country report of the Republic of Indonesia
on the 4th ASEAN COCI Symposium,
8 - 10th November 2001, Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia
Bambang Soeprijanto & Sri Wuryatmi
National Information Agency
Jakarta - Indonesia
Regional Information Officer,
Deputy for Information Content Management,
National Information Agency,
Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat 9, Jakarta.
Phone 62 - 021 - 3859625
Fax 62 - 021 - 3440051
e-mail address: email@example.com
Chief of Training and Education Officer,
Secretariat Office of the National Information Agency,
Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat 9 Jakarta.
INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION AND MASS MEDIA
DEVELOPMENT IN INDONESIA
Along with Indonesia‟s experience, Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
usage has a diverse variably in meaning that made it too exclusive, ranged from as a tool
of work to a presentation technique, from business purposes to home entertainment, from
network security to play games. Covering an archipelago area of over 17,508 islands
(which with land areas of 2,027,087 Km2) on the geographical positions tucked on 94045'
to 141065' of the East Meridian and on 60008' North to 11015' of the South Equatorial, so
that is not an easy job for government to set up Telco's infrastructure to serve public needs
of more than two hundred million people.
During Soeharto‟s Administration, ICT and mass media communication usage were to
unite the cohesiveness of Indonesia nation. Focused strategy was to making of a public
opinion‟s homogeneity, as to materialize the political strategy under the open sky policy
and news pooling management. That was happened since the first launch of Palapa
Satellite in 1976, which was inspired on the Oath swored by Gajahmada, Commander in
Chief on the ancient Majapahit Kingdom to unite Nusantara. Later on, it was followed by
the quasi-monopolistic regulation in mass media communication businesses and also the
monolithic editorial policy since 1979 through subsidized community newspaper program.
For public service purposes, the ICT was used limitlessly; among others in the field of
education, health, trade and tourism in addition to academic or research purposes.
Meanwhile, Internet was firstly introduced in Indonesia in 1993 among researchers in high
educational institution, i.e. University of Indonesia and Bandung Institute of Technology to
embracing the e-library application, and to set up a network computing research1.
Freedom of expression under the previous regulation was limited, to the extent that they
have to serve the public for the sake of power holder. It had almost given no tolerance for
opposition press for more than decades. During these years, press and printed mass media
industry were also grew slowly (from 278 in early 1980 to 470 in 1997) and only a single
1Tulus Rahardjo, Director for Telecommunication and Informatics, Ministry of
Transportation and Communication, ' The Infrastructure support for optimizing e-
commerce', paper presented on the E-Commerce Seminar to accord WTO Framework,
Alsson Hotel, Jakarta 18th October, 2001.
Journalists‟ association was existed. Private Radio broadcastings were about 6 hundred
stations, while state broadcasting 52 stations. State Television broadcasting was available
for 10 stations with more than 20 local station for TV production house purposes, and
private television broadcasting only 5 stations, mainly operated from Capital City.
The main revenue for broadcasting industries was from advertising sectors. Mean while,
private broadcasting stations have been obliged to contribute 12,5 % of its advertising
revenue for subsidizing state broadcasting station, either for public radio or television. That
was reasoned due to the formal rules that public broadcastings had not been allowed to
have slots for advertising.
E-commerce application entered into business practice in 1998 after economics crises, as a
way to recover from economics' slow down. Compared with the US business, Indonesia is
non comparable with only 0.26 % or about US $ 100 million off the US $ 390 billion of
the USA e-commerce revenue in 2000 (Forrester research quoted in Tulus' paper). Entering
the New Millennium, with the global challenge for market liberalization, the domestics
need to further capability to produce high quality goods and services which were a
necessity for them to compete in global market.
In terms of information and communication development, there are much left to do to raise
the awareness of the society to gaining comparative advantages and competitive
superiority based on expertise professionalism, transparency, just and clean behavior.
E-government at embryonic stage, were implemented by National Planning and
Development Board, National Atomic Agency, Logistics National Board, Bureau for
Statistic Affairs, State Administrative Institute etc. Initially, the application of
microcomputer for office usage was being implemented in the Ministry of Finance, on the
Taxation Directorate since 1984 at the district level. Further, the Electronic Data
Interchange (EDI) as well as reform in the tax paying system based on electronic
computerized data processing was being operated.
This office automation was signing the shift of responsibility for taxpayer to cross check
the tax notification. “The new system had tax payer send returns and payments to local
office, whom staff entered the information into microcomputer. Further, data were re-
entered by different operator, and computer automatically cross-checked the original entry.
Then the system produced a letter to the taxpayer assigning each return a number. Further
more, Automatic auditing routine were also developed to monitor and analyze trend in
individual and district tax data2. Other government offices followed their path according to
the needs and capability building, pioneered by the National Coordination Board of Family
Planning with the Family Planing Information System (Sistem Informasi Kependudukan
dan Keluarga Berencana - SIMDuGa).
2Brinkerhoff, Derick W, Improving Development Program performance, Lynne Rienner
Publishers, Boulder, Colorado, 1991, p. 141.
B. DEVELOPMENT OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION AND MASS MEDIA.
1. Before Reform Era.
Even though there was off the same Information and Communication Technology and its
applications that were implemented since the Soeharto's Administration; but now, they
have slightly a different angle of policy‟s viewpoint. Telecommunication sector
development was based on the Law of the Republic of Indonesia No. 3 / 1989 about
Telecommunication, which stated that the operator for basic telecommunication services
were in the hand of government‟s monopoly. For basic services that could be lent to the
private sectors, it has a mandatory obligation for private to cooperate with state agency or
state corporations. Where as for non-basic services, they could do it by themselves,
without such cooperative. In terms of public services, PT Telkom held domestic
telecommunications services, as the operator for fixed and wire line services. Another State
Corporation, PT Indosat, has the main duty for operating basic telecommunication services
abroad based on fixed services, up to 1994.
Under the Government Regulation ( No. 8/ 1993) and Ministry Decree ( No. 39/ 1993)
stated that cooperative among operators and state agency could be conducted in the form of
a. Joint venture corporation – G.R. No. 20/ 1994, stated that minimal participation
from domestic capital fund were should be no less than 5 % off the total investment
b. Cooperative operation and
c. Contractual Management – Ministry Decree No. 39/ 1993.
In the mean time, Indonesia's telecommunication structural development could be figured
out as below3:
Fixed Cable Exclusive since 1999 to 2010
Basic Fixed Domestic local
Telco services services Telco Radio Limited competitiveness
National Long Exclusive since 1996 to 2005
3(Blue Print) National Policy on Telecommunication Development Reform, Ministry of
Telecommunication and Transportation, Jakarta, 1998.
International direct-call PT Indosat & PT Telkom
services since 1995 to 2004
Mobile Mobile cellular telephone Competition depend on the
services services frequencies‟ availability
Non Basic telecommunication services Competitive market
Users‟ terminal equipment Competitive market
Non users‟ terminal equipment In due process of competitive
Under this scheme, PT Telkom already had have an almost one and a half decade
monopolistic status that will be ended up on 2010.4 While local telecommunication fixed
radio frequency‟s bases services were given to PT Ratelindo. At the current status, the
telecom services‟ tariff was based on the actual payment, and now will be considered to
switched for maximum tariff. Facing the globalization, both PT Telkom and PT Indosat
already had been conducting an initial public offering (IPO) consecutively for their share
of about 35 % and 25 % in 1995 and 1996.
Compared with ASEAN Countries and Non ASEAN Countries, Indonesia‟s
Telecommunication penetration development was in the initial stage, as it appeared in the
(ITU, Aspac Telco Indicators, as early 1997)
Fixed penetration rates Mobile penetration rates
Country ( per 100 population) ( per 100 population)
Non ASEAN Countries
Australia 51.94 28.3
Taiwan 46.60 3.0
Korea 43.26 17.8
Singapore 47.85 28.3
Malaysia 18.32 10.9
Thailand 5.86 0.3
Philippines 2.58 1.6
INDONESIA 2.10 0.6
2. Reform Era.
Coming of the Reform of Government Administration marked the inversion policy toward
ICT usage. Previously, it was aimed for uniting the nation's fundamental life purpose, but
later on, that was off democratizing populace.
During the Habibie‟s Administration, the Freedom of the Press gained its momentum in
liberalizing press industry, while the new regulation (UU tentang Kemerdekaan Pers, No
40 tahun 1999) were enacted. That law became the freest regulation on the mass media
among ASEAN countries, and made the press publication industry almost quadrupled for
less than three years. Meanwhile, journalists association also embarked boldly from only
one to about 34 organizations of free journalists. The directive for popularizing the ICT
usage that has also been bolstered through the Indonesia‟s Telematics Coordinating Team
(Tim Koordinasi Telematika Indonesia - TKTI), since previous years off the last
Soeharto‟s Administration, with the Nusantara 21 basic Concept of Telematics
Up to this moment, public infrastructure was in early penetration at societal level with less
than 3 % of population having information access by fixed phone lines that which only
7,82 million5; cellular phone 4.67 million; computer availability less than 2 million and
internet access at about four million6. Telephone access was not available yet for all sub-
district administrative level through out the Indonesia's territory, and the
telecommunication sector were still being hold monopolistically7.
The growth of fixed personal telephone services during crisis and after Reform gained
15,51 % up to the end of 1998, while at the same time, the users who ended their services
almost amounted of 201.201 lines. Meanwhile, on the mobile telephone services, the
negative growth achieved at – 7.93 %, and it could be explained due to the switching habit
of pre-payment call services.
Users‟ indicator Unit quarter 1997 quarter 1998 Growth ( % )
Users Person 4.361.355 5.037.640 15.51
6 Compared another data source from Planning and Technological Directorate, at the
same Ministry, issued data: fixed phone 6,5 million lines; mobile phone 2,5 million unit;
internet instant access point at 155 cities; and internet gateways with a capacity of 143
7 Parapak, Jonathan, paper presented on The Businesses in the Telematics sector’s
Seminar, Jakarta, November 15, 2000.
Public phone Line unit 151.229 194.737 28.77
Bisnis % 21.43 19.80 - 7.62
Home % 78.12 79.78 2.13
Social services % 0.45 0.42 -03
Local call % 37.85 35.47 - 6.30
Long distance % 62.15 64.53 3.84
Users Person 858.221 790.156 - 7.93
(Info -Telkom, August 1998)
Telecommunication infrastructure development until 1998 were as follows:
1. Fixed telephone infrastructure services developed by PT Telkom and it‟s business
partners, the expansion of services and planned were according to the National
2. Mobile telephone infrastructure services were developed by private sectors
according to the users‟ need, without such involvement from the government either
for development fund or for its maintenance facilities.
Table for both the fixed and mobile services was as follows:
Area Fixed services Mobile services
Sumatra 770.057 74.894
West Java 567.358 69.168
Jakarta Special District 2.079.452 575.477
Central Java 475.410 69.526
East Java 935.372 119.007
Kalimantan 254.315 24.612
East Indonesia‟s Territory 488.880 52.718
Total 5.571.644 98.402
Nusantara 21 Vision as a National Information Technology infrastructure Framework
(NITF) on its first kind, was entitled to establish a knowledge based society through
implementation and development of ICT for all Indonesians within the State Nationhood
of the Republic of Indonesia at 2020.8
Along the transition period lead by Habibie‟s Administration, some transitional policies
were had been enacted, mainly the Press Freedom No 40/ 1999 procedural guidance who
places no barrier entry for new comers to invest in mass media industry, but only for
general requirement as required by business purposes under the auspicies of Ministry of
Trade and Industry. Further more, the revision of Broadcasting Law was still in progress,
due to the different interpretation of the independent authority body that have to be enacted
as it‟s mandated by the Law. Interms of ICT implementation and computer technology
related issues, continuation of the Indonesia‟s Telematics Coordinating Team strategic
planning was being set.
During Gus Dur‟s Administration, Decree for translating ICT application based on
Indonesia‟s language was also being stipulated by President Decree No 2/ 2001 and
President Instruction No 6/ 2001 as the Guidance for Development and Optimizing the
Telematics usage9. Then, it also has a renewal of the Indonesia‟s Telematics Coordinating
Team. Furthermore, negative list of investment was being lessened gradually for the multi
media industry to foster growth and invite foreign investors. A mimicking of the Silicon
Valley in California, Bali Camp - a group of young info-preneurs was being set in
blinking among nature farming villages, east to Denpasar. It is to foster software and
computer application industry growth as to create job opportunity and channelizing youth
creativity on ICT. In accompanying this info-preneurs site, Bali Multi Media Corporation
was also being established as a joint venture with the Provincial government of Bali10.
Even though, the moment was not ripe enough, due to the delayed crises effects which
caused a stagnant in the Telematics investment sector's development.
On the private sectors, especially in the mass media industries, the implementation of ICT
was not merely a complementary one, but it was deemed necessary for succeding in the
strict and tightly competitive business environment. Pioneered by Kompas Group since the
early 1980, implementation of ICT as a mode of electronics printing transformation
(chemical and opto electronics printing system compared to previously a hot platted tin
system) had also been adopted on either newspaper industry or magazines. Similar to that
8 Gambaran pembangunan Telematika Indonesia, TKTI, Jakarta, 2nd edition, 1998.
9 Syamsul Mu'arif, State Ministry for Information and Communication, The readiness and
Challenges on the Implementation of e-government to attain the good governance and
public services, paper presented at the One day seminar, on E-government, The General
Assembly, Jakarta, 25th October 2001.
10 TKTI, Sosialisasi NITF, Denpasar – Bali, 29-30 September 2001.
phenomena, broadcasting mass media industri also shifting their capability from analog to
digital broadcasting, since the early 1990.
Accompanying the Press Freedom during Yunus Yosfiah Ministrerial‟s administrative
office, the Java Post extended their business opportunity and its capability on managing
electronics news networking among their subsidiaries which consisted of more than 80
local and regional newspapers. Therefore, they became a competitor for state owned
Indonesia‟s National Press Agency (LKBN Antara). Meanwhile, Antara also replacing its
old news networking system based on teletext (implemented since 1977) with computer
based news networking system. At the mean time, they had also created a brand new, on-
line internet based news services with the complimentary edition in English.
For public services purposes among institution, up to the moment, there were about 150
web sites being implemented through various government agency at the national state,
regional and local district government. Takalar District, in the Province of South Sulawesi
and East Kutai District, in the Province of East Kalimantan were some of the district e-
government model set up by local government in cooperation with State Telco and Private
internet application service providers. Another local public services being converted into e-
gov services was in Bantul District, the Province of Yogyakarta who create web sites
worth of almost Rp 2 million.To name it, Takalar is a sample of local government having
indigenous revenue from tax and service less than Rp 2,5 million during annual budget of
2000 that tried to cut throat the bureaucratic in-efficiency by establishing e-government for
public services. Meanwhile, Bantul District‟s e-government web sites was named as the
most expensive sites to bidding contract‟s value for almost Rp 0,8 Million11
C. PROGRAM FOR FIRST DECADE IN THE NEW MILLENIUM
In the Megawati‟s Administration, a State Ministry for Communication and Information
(nick named for Meneg Kominfo) was being enacted within Gotong Royong's Kabinet
ministered by Mr. Syamsul Mu'arif. Its office main duty was to set up and coordinate
policy formulation and regulation concerning information, communication, mass media
and Telematics as well as broadcasting. With a variety of institutional sectors regulating
those diversified aspects of industries (either info-com, multi media, telecommunication,
broadcasting and mass media industry) which were fallen under the Transportation and
Telecommunication Ministry, Industry and Trade Ministry, Research and technology State
Ministry and others agency, then National Information Infrastructure Framework and its
basic strategy are being caste by the State Ministry for Communication and Information
11Director for PT Telkom, The Telkom roles in establishing e-government in Indonesia,
paper presented at One day seminar on e-government, general Assembly, jakarta, 25
This policy was a continuation of the Indonesia‟s Telematics Coordinating Team as an ad
hoc team established with presidential decree No 50 / 2000, as well as “the multi track
communication strategy” which were implemented since the Vice President‟s Megawati
positioned in her office12. This strategy implementation resulted from the switched of
government policy concerning the balance of information flow among government
branches. After dominated by executive branch during Soeharto's Administrative era, the
flow of information within society was heavily switched from executive body to legislative
body, as to the pendulum‟s swinging along the reform movement. Further, with the extra
drive from the Reform Spirit, this over swinging phenomena caused a weakened situation
on the executive side due to the lack of counter information from government institution.
That happened during Gus Dur's Administration when he had had liquidated the Ministry
of Information (along with four other government institutions) and further also to the
National Board of Information and Communication (BIKN) which later on, had had been
replaced by National Information Agency (LIN)13.
Mean while an overexposed phenomena of the legislative news coverage by mass media,
could do both jeopardize “the public image” and “lessening the government credibility” in
the eye of the public. With an almost freest regulatory law, the mass media in Indonesia
exercise their newly adopted press freedom and felt that there were no luch law could
hinderred their activity, on for the sake of freedom of expression. As a result, for some
politicians and social scientists, that climate could be judged overspeeding or “kebebasan
yang kebablasan” (in Bahasa Indonesia). Therefore, this policy aims to balance news
coverage among executive, legislative and judicature branches of government as well as
public or society themselves, to cornering stone of democratization.
Approaching to foster a sound business climate with pro-competitive markets oriented, as
well as to fulfill the universal obligation principles to serve the marginal people and rural
areas, a low profile and accommodative strategy were enlisted. It was a continuation for
the policy set by Ministry for Transportation and Telecommunication previously, to;
1. Revise Telecommunication act No. 3 / 1989;
2. Extend the operator for basics services not only for public corporation, but also for
private and cooperative;
3. Revise categorical services from basic and non basic to net-work and non- network
4. Re-compose the investment gradually from 35 % to maximum of 95 % for foreign
5. Paradigm change from government based tariff to market oriented tariff;
12 HA Saefuddin, Chief of National Information Agency, Paper presented on Discussion
The Role of Telematics in health development and educational sectors for the Accelerating
of the East Regional Development of Indonesia, Bappenas, August 21, 2001.
13 President Decree No 16 jo 17/ 2000 and 135/2001.
6. Changing Operators for basic services from monopoly or duo-poly to competitive
7. Improved telecommunication infrastructure from voice fixed telephone services to
multimedia mobile telephone services.
The State Minister‟s strategic approach is to facilitate, catalyze and mediate the industrial
growth, which in turn, hopefully could bridge the digital divide, and make transparent for
public information availability and also to rate accountable among governmental public
service‟s institution. Among others, programs are to initiate radio community broadcasting,
fulfill information access through the development of Community Multimedia Information
Tele center, and fostering the small and cooperative business in the ICT sector. In
addition, to extend public services the existing State Radio and Television Broadcasting
were already being converted into public Broadcasting Corporation.
Those attainments are aimed strategically to convert „digital divide‟ became „digital
opportunity‟, and to anticipate „digital dependency‟ as well as to find a cheap solution for
and ubiquitous to information infrastructure as to extend the services to afford populace
needs. Among others, the specified target set for 2004 were de-monopolizing
telecommunication industries, implementing e-democracy through electronics general
election for 2010, e-government application initiated since 2001, and embracing
community broadcasting to diversify local cultural content for 200414, as well as the legal
frame work for cyber law for 2004. In terms of technical aspects, to revitalize the radio
frequency usage for improving information access by the rural people, a community
broadcasting would be implemented through the use of fixed wireless at 800 MHz, and set
the availability of Network Application Providers (NAP) for broad bandwidth internet
services and the supported network capacity equal to T-1 back bone technology.
From the previous Nusantara 21 concept, mode of multi media city would also be
implemented, with a clustering business and home based community served by multi
service vendors at the metropolitan and big city. Meanwhile, for smaller city or town, the
internet café and, use of satellite technology as well as the community multi media tele-
centers (CMTC) will also be expanded to reach the rural areas. The implementation of that
14 Concerning Community broadcasting, there is still a dispute of interpretation in terms
of operational meaning among government officials. On one side, the opponent, based on
the strict interpretation on the UNESCO operational concept of that idea made its an
inflicting threat to Nationality, due to the technical function of community broadcasting
as to the extension of global broadcasting reach through satellite broadband beam of
westernized information content. On the other side, the proponent argue that community
broadcasting as long as it remain in the micro power transmission out put (Tx), free
licensing public domain radio wave and distributed mainly in remote areas to diversifying
local cultural information content, then the miss-guided interpretation for a threat to
National Security issue ( i.e. inter-ethnic, inter religious, inter racial and inter group) is a
non based rationality.
idea which were locally nicknamed for Business Information Multimedia Centers (BIMC),
still have no clearances for whom the agency should stipulate the initiative and from whom
the capital investment could be obtained.
Along with the spirit of deregulation, government try to manage telecommunication
services businesses in line with pro-competitive markets, liberalize its structure and tariff,
allowing open access and market mechanism to work in adjusting the supply and demand
rather than by government alone. With an initial project for enacting the Electronics Digital
Interchange (EDI) by the Directorate General for Tax Custom and Tariff, Ministry of
Finance to facilitate export - import procedures in 1978, then application of B2B computer
is slowly embraced by private sectors. The equal effort also being made by non
government organization especially those who protect the consumers needs and interest, in
order to protect the consumers right, the intellectual property right and other intangible
right related to goods and services carried through internet facilities.
Facing the impact of internet globalization which were characterized by improving
mobility of goods, services and human resources, instantaneous introduction of goods and
services through out the world, create a border-less state territory and forcing thoughtlessly
domestics competitive market, as well as to de-popularize bureaucracy and monopoly, that
phenomena that affecting either on regulation, technology and business,15 then it is a need
to integrated a national policy on information, communication and mass media.
With the growth rate of 18,2 % since 1995 for fixed telephone lines and 1,6 % for cellular
phone lines services, internet industry were being served by 35 ISP among 46 registered
service providers. The rest of 11 ISP were unable to operate, due to the last economics
crises.16 In addition, there were 2000 internet café through out territory serving as the
access point for commercial and public utility. The introduction of new technology for
internet based people to people communication such as GSM smart card, GMPCS and the
switched from vertical business clustered orientation industries to that of the horizontal
one, that made a shifting paradigm in the telecommunication business services.
Other e-gov implementation were in the military and national resilience as well as the
crime and national police system. Those security related issues' ICT implementation has
still found ways to accommodate the reform spirit and public needs17 (rather than using
ICT as a back up tool of weaponry system only in terms of ICT function for C3I
information system, it could also be extent to Surveillance, Recovery and Rescue forming
15 AA Nasution, PT Telkom ready to prepare Nusantara 21 Infrastructure, in Electro
Indonesia, 11th edition, January, 1998.
16 Ginanjar, E Government and people's representative performance, paper presented at
the One day Seminar on E-government, held by the Indonesia's General Assembly,
Jakarta, 25th October 2001.
17 National Seminar on the Empowerment and Implementation of ICT for National
Security and Defence system, The Ministry of Defence, Jakarta, 29-30 October 2001.
an integrated electronics information system). And then, the latest inauguration for e-
government application was General Assembly's web sites at http://www.mpr.gp.id
which were christened by Mr. Amin Rais, the Chairman of the General Assembly18 at that
seminar to improve the work performance of the people's representative assembly
members by paying close attention on its constituents on-line, instead off or rather than off
Committed to the WTO framework for liberalizing domestic market, government tries to
fastened and shortened the periods set previously for public corporation allowing market
1. exclusive right for PT Telkom and PT Indosat in direct long distance fixed
telecommunication services up to 2005;
2. duopoly for PT Satelindo and PT Indosat in international direct call up to 2004;
3. exclusive right for fixed local call by PT Telkom up to 2010;
4. mobile local cellular telecommunication for competitive markets up to 35 % for
In order to maintain its commitment, government also worked out to:
1. prevent from anti-competitive among incumbents in telecommunication markets;
2. prevent discrimination on requirement for network services and interconnection
among incumbents and new-comers;
3. allow transparency on universal public services without discrimination and neutral
for market competition;
4. make and open to public the licensing procedures in transparent ways;
5. create an independent regulatory body;
6. re-allocate scarce resources with due process in a just and fair practices;
Conferred in the Seminar on the Implementation of e-commerce to accord the WTO
Framework, held in Jakarta, 18 October 2001, the Staff Secretariat of the Vice president
Office explained that Equalizing the opportunity and the challenges of ICT market and
advancement, then the Indonesia's regulatory and legal framework have to foster reform
and change to suit the economics, global and technological, as well as to adjust society-
cultural needs for furthering social welfare of Indonesian citizen and catch-up with its
surrounding neighbor countries' ICT development. Therefore, some issues could be solved
either to set up the legal frame work in terms of cyber law, digital signature, certificate of
authority and standard of interoperability and connectivity19.
18 Amien Rais, key Note speech on the One Day Seminar on E-gov and people's
representative assembly members' work performance, Jakarta, 25 October 2001.
19 In this very moment, Indonesia's NGO, LSAI, Forum for Free and Independent Flow of
Information Study had already submitted a legal draft on the Freedom of Information
access to the National People's Representative Council. In the mean time, the government
is till working out with the competing academic draft that hopefully will be propose as a
As the mile stone targeted to attain in ICT development such as: 9 million fixed telephone
connection by 2003, and 7,5 million cellular phone customers; with about 20 million
internet users either through dial-up facilities, ISP or corporate and café internet access.
Guiding to this state of development, TKTI already published its Five Year Action Plan
2001 - 2005 which accompanied by the National Information Technology Framework. In
anticipating the Global Information Infrastructure, Government has also been ready to
revise the Telecommunication Act No 3/ 1989 more openly, eliminate monopoly gradually
and revise the Nusantara 21 operational concept to fit the ICT last development and
In line with the development of computer infrastructures' hard ware and software, the legal
ware should also been paid attention to. Jimly in his paper presented in the General
Assembly Seminar, stated that it was being recognized that the development of legal
aspect in the ICT sectors, especially internet were lagged behind. Further more, among
government agencies, there were still heavily a procedural administrative concern that
made red-tape bureaucracy, as well as lack of or less expertise among employees.
Sampling a comparison to advance the e-government implementation, he named Abu
Dhabi experience for sanctioning the government employee who can't operate computer
appliances for public services, therefore the e-government project had been proceeded
successfully.20 Such an example of reward and punishment procedures may be work out
for accelerating the implementation processes, as to extent the national leadership's
administrative commitment on the ICT Development programs. He also noted that in the
era of globalization of information, there was a tendency to over regulate or hyper regulate
the societal affairs due to its complexity on each walk of life. On the other side, Indonesia
is being experienced of having lack of cyber law, while the progress of ICT development
deemed it necessary to have one. Further more, there also had a vacuum on the
promulgation of law, since the absent of Ministry of Information which whom it were
being liquidated during Gus Dur's Administration.
As to serve for the whole population, Indonesia is the biggest archipelago state with the
longest coastal lines, therefore Indonesia‟s State Ministry for Communication and
Communication sets ICT priority's policies and given the fishermen and coastal shore
society for embracing social consciousness in preserving underwater cultural heritage,
avoiding fishing-explosive mining and prevent from devastating the coral reef and re-
planting coastal mangrove bush. This last but not least opportunity to develop were a
strategic effort to empower society, due to the majority of Indonesia's territory comprised
with sea and water terrain, as the prospecting resources for raising social welfare.
government initiative on Transparency and the Freedom of Information Access, as well
as other topics on Information Security Act and the Revision of the Press Freedom Act of
20 Jimly Asshiddiqie, Development of IT and its implication toward Law and Government,
paper presented on One Day Seminar, General Assembly, Jakarta, 15 October 2001.
On the private side, the business sectors represented by PT Mitra Global Telekomunikasi
Indonesia, in the similar seminar occasion on ICT development, sounded that in order to
develop telecommunication sector during Government's Administrative Reform and
Regional Autonomy's Movement, the government needs to adjust its strategic planning.21
Some suggestions given by private enterpreneurs were:
a. In line with the Law No 39/ 1999, telecommunication sectors that
previously stated as monopolistically regulated, should be open to
b. Government treatment for telecommunication infrastructure as the vital and
strategic factors, should be shift to treated as the commodity for trade
c. With the recovering of economics post crises, then government should
allow and treat with a non-discriminatory and non-entry barrier rules and
regulation for new entrance of businesses practices.
d. Government should alleviate the privilege and special right to PT Telkom
and PT Indosat as soon as possible to create level of playing field
symmetrically with private business;
e. Government should simplifying the telecommunication services business
category in terms of network services, special telecommunication services
and provider services.
f. Government should gradually left the operator playing field to the private
business and tightly stay close to the regulatory and facilitating function to
develop telecommunication sectors.
In terms of decentralization movement for autonomous regional authority of local
government, the hopes placed by localities were to share the authority and regulation in
telecommunication, especially for:
a. developing regional telecommunication infrastructure by, for and at the local
b. implementing the flexibility of choices for local authorities to create, empower
and develop its resources for welfare purposes, with an alternative to find
solution for inviting foreign investors;
c. giving a chance for tax holiday to the investors in telecommunication sectors,
especially for developing and extending a universal service obligation purposes
on rural areas.
21Sutrisman, PT Mitra Global telekomunikasi Indonesia, Strategi Pengembangan Sektor
Telekomunikasi dalam Era Otonomi Daerah, paper pada Seminar Nasional
Telekomunikasi, Deperindag, Jakarta Hilton Hotel, 17 October 2001.
When talking about strategic planning in the telecommunication sectors, Director General
for Post and Telecommunication, at the E-commerce Seminar at Alsson Hotel, Jakarta
stated that climate for investment after economics crises were not favorable enough yet for
the foreign investors, due to the lack of cyber regulation, safety of personnel and legal
framework for conducting cyber transaction and businesses. Therefore, the
Telecommunication development strategy were to extend infrastructure for universal
access, consistency in implementing regulation and procedures, establish interconnection
and interoperability among networks, facilitate regional and local rules and procedures that
allow ease access and guarantee for investment and participation from local government
through local or regional public corporation and joint investment.22
The similar spirit was also being re-announced by the National Representative Members
from IVth Commission, Rosyid Hidayat at the ICT Seminar, that the ICT sectors need to
be managed openly in the era of global competitiveness, so it should be nationally efficient
and treated for export lead telecommunication services, event though telecommunication is
not merely an economics business only.23 Learning from America's experience in
telecommunication reform, it should be implemented simultaneously various effort to
privatize, deregulate, endorse competition and corporate transformation from state owned
to publicly offering of public corporation stock, due to the net result of the last 10 years
ICT development in Indonesia advancing at ratio of:
- fixed telephone line in service for 6,66 million lines (TLKM 3,67 M and KSO
- telephone density of 3,10 % per population (TLKM 5,84 % and KSO 1,99 %);
- Internet subscribers 500,000 users;
- 9 mobile telephone operators in mobile service;
- 4 fixed telephone operators;
- 2 government owned public corporate dominated telecommunication services;
- having experienced of KSO dispute ( i.e. Aria West in West Java)24;
From these stand point, he suggested that it would be better for government to regulate and
re-structure telecommunication industry by creating;
- Independent Regulatory Body;
- Establish interconnection for the whole Indonesian territory;
- Implementing tariff policy based on cost and universal services' obligation
- Open offering for licensing procedures and allocation of scarce resources;
22 Djamhari Sirat, Dirjen Pos dan telekomunikasi, Strategi Pembangunan Sektor
Telekomunikasi dalam Era OTDA, Hotel Alsson, Jakarta, 18 Oktober 2001.
23 Rosyid Hidayat, Deregulation in Telecommuniation Industry for national
Competitiveness, One day Seminar on ICT development, Jakarta Hilton Hotel, 17 October
24 Ibid, p.3.
- standardize accountability procedures, taxation, and the right of operating cost
among operators (biaya hak penyelenggaraan),
along with the consistence implementation of policy and regulation, based on the
principle of non discriminatory and non barrier's entry.
D. SOME CHALLENGES ON ICT DEVELOPMENT AHEAD
The development and implementation of ICT and mass media communication in the era of
globalization and of information in Indonesia is not without challenges. Two of its main
factors that diametrically opposed each other and mostly could affecting the integrity of
public policy and national interest were globalization as the centripetal factor and the
decentralization for the centrifugal one. It was not a freak for security community who felt
that the threat of Nation Unity caused from the latency of SARA could be jeopardize the
Indonesia's Nationhood State Unity. Further more, the considering factors in development
policy should not laid on (overemphasized only) the economics development reason, but
also for a non economics one, such as social and cultural need25. Therefore, the role of
telecommunication should be shifted from communication and control function of the
power holders, to the making of a balance and harmonize civil society, to encouraging the
economics growth and social development among urban and rural areas proportionately as
to give a universal service obligation.
Similar to the mentioned above, the e-government's implementation is also not without
challenges. Facing the new millenium with a global market tightly competitive edge,
Indonesia whom still in a desperate course to raise from economics crises, can't avoid the
challenges for implementing e-government, albeit its complexity. Some of these challenges
- economics crises lasted years lately had already burdened the building capacity of the
people concerned to implement ICT development program. Those impact had slugged
the pace of ICT implementation, due to rising value of currency foreign exchange,
expensive price on computer hard ware and soft ware, internet access cost and scarcity
of telephone's availability for populace;
- geographic and its local indigenous revenue that varied greatly, made some
discrepancies in the ICT program implementation. Instead of the fast spread of ICT
technology in Java with a high rate of investment, the rest of the country's island
having a lack of infrastructures and telecommunication access facilities, and lagged
behind in its development;
- technologically speaking, the diversified progress of the society's adaptation of ICT
created digital gap among different ethnic from many island. Indonesia consists of
25 Naswil Idris, Indonesia Open University, Telecommuniation policies and deregulation
for better services to encourage High Economics growth and rural development in
Indonesia, paper presented in the Aspac Forum for Telecommunication Policy, 2000.
different technology-developmental stage, namely the stone age in West Papua, the
Agricultural stage on some of the other Islands, the Industrial stage on Sumatra and
Sulawesi; while some part of Java already had experiencing the Information age. The
implementation of e-government as a mean to attain the goal for easing government
agencies in giving service to the people, also faced the technological security issue,
authenticity and integrity of the information source for electronics transaction;
- in the cultural related aspect, the ICT implementation projects are also facing similar
handicap and needs attention seriously. What ever sophisticated the system, when the
man behind the computer have no courage to changes its conventional behavior which
heavily related on familiarity and shame cultural value, then the ICT system
implementation won't be successful. Do we already have to take account for
information transparency in the public service sector, can we alleviate corruption,
colluded and nepotism and daring to try a professional stand with transparent and clean
as well as sound business practices?
Facing those challenges, we have to learnt from past experiences when we fail to
implement ID card electronics standardization, due to the reluctant behavior of the public
servants as well as non-readiness attitude from the populace to discipline themselves and
enact the electronics procedures consistently.26
Some grass roots movement were being created by ICT professional association and
together with, namely: Association of the Indonesia Computer Businesses (Apkomindo),
Telecommunication Society (Mastel), Ministry of National Education, Ministry of
Transportation and Telecommunication to networking activities for synergize the result,
through: development of 6 network infrastructures, 5 ICT training and education centers, 4
development soft ware application cottages, 4 strategic and legal framework documents,
some conferences and seminars on ICT implementation.
There are challenges to attain that goals, among others face by Indonesia that should be
handled eagerly and properly:
1. Cultural awareness and readiness of the whole society, lead by the government
public servants for alleviating corruption, colluded and nepotism. On the populace
side, the Information Communication Technological anxiety (gagap technology) is
a latency of the digital literacy and media literacy that need to solved
simultaneously. That was due to the Java centric infrastructure development that
left others island lagged behind in the coverage of USO from government services.
The fast development in ICT technology put the remote society un-touched with its
innovation and place themselves in different kind of world living (Alvin Toffler,
analoguous of Third Waves which could be equated to the Stone Age in West
Papua, Agrarian Age in the rest of Big Island, Industrial Age - Sumatra, Sulawesi
26 PT Telkom director's paper, Ibid.
dan Kalimantan and Post Industrial or Information Age - Java; main city of Jakarta,
Bandung, Medan, Makkassar and Surabaya)
2. Professionalizing bureaucracy to make public services more transparent, traceable,
accountable and capable as well as clean government. This to alleviating " a
milking cow treatment from state enterprises" for the purpose of non budgeter
spending by some government institutions which can not be count on public
responsibility and public audit by National Representative Council.
3. De-monopolize and make more competitive business climate by introducing fair
business playing field and fair business practices. Introducet by Ministreial decree
No 13/1994, the beginning of Kerja Sama Operasi (KSO) a matter of different kind
of cooperative business that put non-equal partner in equally shared responsibility
and risk business (for 5 especially private corporations), with a right to build,
implement and operate infrastructure for 15 years ahead. Then at the approaching
of 3rd Millenium it was proofed misleading after being implemented for almost 5
years. One of the case from Aria west was being accused of under achievement,
therefore government tried to withdrawal its companion, and create a legal sued
case in the court.
4. Opening telecommunication market to foreign investment trough public offering
mechanism on public bond and market share. The Negative List Investment's
procedures should be eliminated, such as the President Instruction No 39/ 2000 that
created woe for foreign investors due to the limitation of proprietary & ownership
share on the joint venture corporation.
5. Privatizing public and state corporation to avoiding the cow-milking treatment
from bureaucrat off the technically supervised to the state enterprises. The issue of
public broadcasting status for TVRI and RRI, as an example is still in the dispute
from different aspect and interest that furthering away the effort to keep it as public
entity for maintaining the interest of the nation (political base reasoning) or made it
a private enterprise to alleviate unnecessary budget spending (economics base
6. Creating and extending the information technology infrastructure especially the
broadcasting network, to materialize national broadcasting system by mushrooming
the local, district and regional government radio broadcast, as to utilising the
spillover of the decentralized budget spending for the purposes of public
enlightenment as well as to extend information access through BIMC or CMMTC.
7. Privatizing RRI and TVRI as state owned coorporation became public
broadcasting, by converting analog to digital broadcasting and at the same time,
offering the expertise in broadcasting, network and transmission to give a hand in
assisting local, district and regional governmetn setting up mass media
8. Similar effort in creating business opportinity in on line mass media industry could
also been sprouted out among grass root organisations, local community to fooster
the feed back communication to variety of government institution.
In order to obtain maximum result and synergetic out-come, therefore the whole society of
Indonesia‟s ICT community should take a hand in hand to collaborate and coordinate for
using scarce resources of ICT to fulfilling the people‟s need and national interest. In
addition to prioritizing domestics capability building, the cooperative among nations
especially within ASEAN Countries should be prospered to foster the development.
Similar to the effort implemented over seas, withn domestic territory, the speeding up of
ICT development in the East Territory of Indonesia (Kawasan Timur Indonesia) should not
solely improving capacity building of its East ICT resources, but thoroughly need to
involve and utilise the ICT resources, technology and expertise from all over the
The development of ICT and its related business industry after economics crisis and reform
era were slow downed due to the scarcity of capital investment available from foreign
market, as well as unfavorable climate level in terms of security and legal frameworks.
With the 3 % penetration rate of telephone accessibility among 215 million of Indonesia's
population, and about 4.67 million of cellular phone users, the prospect for e-commerce is
demanding. But to note, its is a need to guarantee that the security system implemented
either in e-commerce or e-government, should be technology neutral and open standard,
with an aimed target to empower society and evolving economics market by extending the
information access through out sub-districts and rural areas.
Meanwhile, the development of ICT and its application promise the opportunity to
fastened the economics recovery, as well as to make available job opportunities for newly
graduated and skilled workforces. Learning from the private business experience during
crisis recovery that they set the business not along with the consumer's need, but to the
extent of investor's interest, then Government agencies have not to copycat this failure.
Therefore, the introduction of e-government among public institutions need to bridging not
only with a National Information Technological architecture Framework (NITF), but also
National Information Infrastructure Framework (NIIF) as well as the National Information
Legal Framework (Cyber law).
With an eagerness to implement e-government application to attain the good governance,
then government agencies have to follow what the universal rules guided for de-
bureaucratizing the administrative procedures, open to market competition, increase
efficiency and productivity, as well as to make transparent public information and set the
policy based on non discriminatory principle and non barrier entrance to new comers.
Cooperative and collaboration in business operations then will be a necessary, event
though not a sufficient condition for domestics business to gain global competitiveness.
Therefore, the crucial factors to tackle will also be educating and making expertise the ICT
workforces, as to gain competitive advantages and comparative advantages among
ASEAN countries. Further more, the government initiative to diversifying local cultural
content for multi media industries will also play a filtering effect to facing the electronics
imperialism driven by a new market economy, and equally to share the ASEAN spirit for
strengthening the interregional ties for cooperative and cultural development.
Equalizing the opportunity and the challenges of ICT market and advancement, then the
Indonesia's regulatory and legal framework have to foster reform and change consistently
and implement consequently to suit the economics, global and technological need, as well
as to adjust society and cultural shifting values for furthering social welfare of Indonesian
citizen and catch-up with its surrounding neighboring countries' ICT development.