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Information Technology Activities & Opportunities.
Onno W. Purbo (, Gadang Ramantoko (, Bobby Nazief
(, Agus Prayadi (
Nusantara-21: Indonesia Information Infrastructure.

This paper will focus on the Indonesian Information Infrastructure initiatives named Nusantara-
21. Its activities as well as opportinities to participate in the development of Indonesian
Information Infrastructure will be described. Brief Canadian presence in Indonesia will also be
reported. Current Indonesian economical background and education level has forced us to take a
more conservative steps, encourage any participatory actions as well as foreign partnership into
the development. A much open & cooperative Indonesian government is currently being formed.
We do hope no more leakadge & unpredictable situations would encourage foreign partners to
participate in the country's National Information Infrastructure (NII) development. This report is
partly taken from IDRC's PanAsia Report written by Geoff Long & Onno W. Purbo.

We would like to encourage people to browse some of our major homepages related to Indonesia
NII initiatives, such as:

as well as interact with our Nusantara-21 Steering Committee Board at led &
funded by people from the Foundation for Telecommunication & Informatics Research (YLTI) -

Overview on Indonesia
Indonesia, with the world's fourth largest population (200 million), consists of some 13,667
islands, six major religions, and more than 300 ethnic groups. Extending telecommunications to
all 27 provinces and each of the main islands is a daunting task but one which Indonesia has
embraced, particularly as a means of creating national cohesion. The need to provide
communications for development and modernisation was recognised more than 20 years ago,
with the launch of Indonesia's domestic satellite, Palapa, in 1976. Many developments have
occurred in the intervening years, however, the current economic crisis has added a level of
uncertainty to many business and government initiatives. Indonesia's national information
infrastructure (NII) is being developed under a program known as Nusantara 21, which calls for all major islands and cities to be linked either by submarine and terrestrial
cable or by satellite by the year 2001. Whether this occurs or not will depend largely on how
quickly the country's economy is restored. In particular, the devaluing of the rupiah means that
most capital purchases will be delayed. IT subjects are widely taught in schools and universities
and an association of more than 100 computer colleges has been found. Unfortunately, skills in
Internet and networking technologies are lagging. There are numerous local computer vendors
and some equipment is made or assembled in Indonesia. Prices before the economic crisis were
on par with countries such as Singapore, but inflation and the devalued rupiah mean that
equipment is now much more expensive.

Indonesia NII effort
Most of Indonesian Internet & Information Technology activities are driven by private and
educational sector. it doesn't mean that there is no government initiatives in this area. Although,
current economic crisis seems to slow down the government efforts.

Back in 1995, researchers at Telkom R&D division (RisTI) ( proposed a
concept for National Information Infrastructure (NII) called Nusantara-21. Their original concept
is focused on Gigabit fiber optics infrastructure for the country.

Despite, less emphasis on the application of the gigabit infrastructure, their concept has drawn
the attention of many parties, including the Secretrary General of MPPT, World Bank, ADB,
IBM etc. On April 1996, the Indonesian MPPT organized large workshop on Indonesia
Nusantara-21. After the workshop several groups than lead the initiative into several different
paths, i.e.,

   The originator of Nusantara-21 concept is still working to on it & putting their concept on the
    Web at Their main emphasis still remains on Gigabit
    infrastructure not much in the application layer.

   BAPPENAS finances by the World Bank is trying to put US$34.5 million (loan) for
    Information Infrastructure Development Program (IIDP). It is mainly focused on regulatory
    framework, network securty & training. One of the activity is Teaching Assistance &
    Training Program (TATP) lead by Ministry of Industry & Trade. We are not sure if the
    program will still continue under current Indonesian economic crisis.

   In 1997, Coordinating Ministry for Production & Industry Ir. Hartarto received the mandate
    from President Soeharto to lead Telematika Indonesia. Today, Mr. Ichyar Musa is trying to
    initiate the Telematika Activities. Their concept is mainly focused on building government
    network infrastructure and more project oriented.

   Mr. J. Parapak (now the secretary general for ministry of
    tourism) is leading the Yayasan Litbang Telekomunikasi & Informatika (YLTI)
    ( the foundation of telecommunication & informatics research. Under his
    leadership, YLTI has working on re-writting the Nusantara-21 concept to produce the
    concept for several key areas, such as, Teleducation, Telemedicine, Teleworking, Postal
    Services etc. It can be downloaded at
The YLTI Nusantara-21 conceptual framework is written by a small team, i.e., Dr. Onno W.
Purbo (team leader) , Dr. Gadang Ramantoko , Dr.
Bobby Nazief , and Dr. Krishna Pribadi . Totally
different from other Indonesian NII activities, in the N21 conceptual framework a clear vision
towards the transformation of Knowledged based Indonesian Society is written. The basic
strategy is quite simple, i.e., encourage private sectors & investors to take the major role in
building the knowledge based Indonesian socity. Government role will be focused as catalist &
regulating the processes through various incentives.

Lead by YLTI (, we implement feedback mechanisms as well as information
delivery system to support a self finance & grass root activities are currently being built at and as well as through the participation of N21 Voluntary
Board . Interfacing into the regulator is currently being performed through n21- by Mr. J. Parapak.

A real example for a self-finance & sustainable Nusantara-21 concept is actually the AIII
Indonesia ( which connecting 25+ educational institutions (approx. 10.000
students) over Internet. The AIII Indonesia ( activities have been attracting
many commercial vendors as well as multinational funding agencies, such as JICA, World Bank
etc. due to its large IT market potentials.

Thus, an alternative simple scheme, to penetrate the Indonesian IT market can be easily
performed by piggy-backing through education activities over the AIII Indonesian educational
network while negotiating any adjustment in the regulatory framework to adopt the technology
through the N21 Voluntary Board We are sure that early investment in the
Indonesian educational sector would benefit both the foreign investors as well as the Indonesian
people years to come after Indonesia manage to survive its economics crisis. Similar scheme
could also be performed for other commercial / business sectors which will benefit both parties.

Brief Canadian Presence in Indonesia

CIDA has been phenomenal in acting as Canadian ambassador for the development in Indonesia.
Several major projects has been undertaken; Those related to Indonesian IT sector will be briefly

The National Research Council Canada (NRC is currently supporting the
establishment      of     Canada       Indonesia     Technology     Network  (CITN)     at It will be linked to the Canadian Technology Network
(CTN) at . It is a collaboration effort between NRC & BPPT (Ministry of
Science & Technology) supported by CIDA. The aim is to help SMEs via Information
Technology by linking the business related resources in educational sectors, NGOs and
Goverment R&D for the SMEs. Interconnection between CTN & CITN might be one of the best
gateway for IT / other technologies to enter Indonesian market.

CIDA funded Eastern Indonesian Universities Development Project (EIUDP) initiated by
colleagues at Simon Frazer University (SFU) has been working for sometimes in helpoing the
remote universities in eastern Indonesian. One of their current initiative is to establish a library
network in Indonesia with linkages to the Canadian libraries. Thanks to low cost Internet
technology, a preliminary test bed is being developed at
Canada Education Center (CEC) and Canada Asean Center (CAC) have also participate in the
Indonesian development. For example, a network of Canadian Alumny in Indonesia is being
developed by CAC.

These activities would be a good place for Canadian to enter the Indonesian IT market.

Indonesian Regulatory Environment
Internet regulation is the responsibility of the Directorate General of Posts and
Telecommunications, although as yet a firm policy has not been finalised. The directorate is
looking at overseas experiences to find a model for regulating the Internet and a number of
organisations within the country are currently drafting policies. One such organisation is YLTI,
or the Foundation for Telecommunication and Informatic Research ( The
government has opened up the ISP sector in recent years, with 47 companies now licensed to
offer Internet access. There are no laws prohibiting voice over Internet services and some ISPs
are currently looking at this option. Electronic commerce comes under the control of the
Ministry of Trade.

The country top-level domain was administered by the University of Indonesia at However, at the moment, IANA ( is taking back full
responsibility of the country top-level domain. The primary DNS server for Indonesia is
currently being moved from Australia to Indosat's network operations centre in Jakarta.

Internet Connectivity
Moves to setup Internet infrastructure have come from the commercial, education, and
government sectors, although sometimes the initiatives are overlapping. Perhaps the most change
has been seen in the commercial sector as a response to the economic crisis. While ISPs had for
many years resisted attempts to connect their operations through a common Internet exchange,
the value of the rupiah has meant that it is no longer feasible for each ISP to have a separate
leased line. As a result, most of the ISPs now share three common lines that connect TelkomNet
Internet Exchange (IX), IndosatNet IX as well as the newly formed Indonesian Internet
Exchange (IIX) to the Internet backbone in the US. A total current aggregate Indonesian speed to
Internet is 5-7 Mbps, significantly reduced from ~20 Mbps in early 1997. In terms of coverage
and subscribers, the largest ISPs are RADnet (, (, and
CBNnet ( , which were among the first to obtain licences from the DGPT. These
three also still run their own leased lines in addition to being connected to the IIX.Telkomnet
(run by Telkom's multimedia division and Centrin Internet also have
significant operations. TelkomNet IX is currently serving 13 ISP.

The education sector in Indonesia is very active and has suffered less from the economic fallout.
It should also be noted that the education and commercial sectors are sometimes at odds
regarding Internet issues. Two of the most prominent universities are the Bandung Institute of
Technology (ITB and the University of Indonesia (UI in Jakarta,
both of which have a pool of Internet-skilled staff.

Since 1996, the Institute of Technology in Bandung (ITB also operates an
Internet exchange for the education sector, which is connected via a 1.5Mb link to the Asia
Pacific AIII backbone ( connected to WIDE Project ( in Japan.
ITB also has a 2Mb link directly to TelkomNet ( Internet Exchange (IX)
where 13 of Indonesian commercial ISP are located. More than half of the country's (around 27)
universities are connected to the exchange, while the others go through a commercial ISP for

The AIII Indonesia ( is the name of the Indonesian education network which
are using ITB as their main gateway to Internet. Started from 1200bps AX.25 network in 1993, it
is currently the largest educational network in Indonesia & serving 25+ educational institutions
connected via various media such as WaveLAN 2Mbps, Telkom ( Fiber
Optics 128-512kbps, Elektrindo Nusantara ( VSAT 19.2-128Kbps. Expansion of
AIII Indonesia network is currently underway in several areas, such as,
 Universities in Sumatra Island in collaboration with UNILA ( , Telkom
    DIVNet, Telkm DIVRe 1 and JICA funded HEDS Project.
 Bali Island in collaboration with YWCN (
 Several univesities (in Sumatra, Jawa & Lombok) under DUE Project funded by World
 We do expect the help from CIDA funded EIUDP for integrating the eastern Indonesian
    universities into Internet.

Because of poor quality local phone lines and limited budget, the universities have created their
own wireless network that by-passes the local lines (Metropolitan Area Network). It uses
waveLAN technology to connect universities at speeds up to 2Mbps. R&D in WaveLAN lead by
students      at    Computer     Network     Research     Group     ITB     / . To extend the scope of the network, an innovative network will
be built utilising Indonsian-made radio modems that will allow other universities to connect at
64-256kbps. The circuit boards for the modems are being designed and manufactured at the
Institute of Technology and can be made for around $100 each. The network will use Citizen
Band (CB) and ham radio frequencies in the VHF 140MHz band at 64Kbps. Research on 64-
256Kbps radio network is led by Adnan Basalamah ( .

In the government sector, the most significant network is Iptek-Net (, the
original gateway to the Internet in Indonesia which was originally conceived as a science and
technology networking initiative. It serves many government departments, although it is no
longer the country's sole Internet gateway. Iptek-Net has been developed by the Indonesia
National Research Council ( at the Ministry of Science and Technology and
provides services to government departments, research organisations, and educational

Content Initiatives
There are a number of sites which attempt to aggregate the main Indonesian web content. On a
general level, one of the most comprehensive is Indocenter, which was developed by Radnet. It
lists sites by category and also has some good media resources which includes some mainstream
magazines and newspapers. Similar sites that list Indonesian links by category are Indonesia
Interactive (, CBNnet (, and Idola ( A good
source of news is the interactive version of Tempo, a magazine that had previously been banned
in print form in Indonesia but allowed to continue on the web. It has news in both English and
Indonesian, although not all Indonesian stories are translated into English.

The Environmental Impact Management Agency (Bapedal is a government
agency with the task of managing environmental impacts through the control of pollution and
environmental damage, as well as issues relating to environmental rehabilitation. Its web site,
which is in both Indonesian and English, has many resources related to environmental issues,
with links to news, research, services, and other relevant Internet resources.

In the educational sector, we have several major activities going on most of them are initiated by
AI3 Indonesia led by ITB. Some examples are:
 Effort to link CDS/ISIS library database is currently done using WAIS-CDS/ISIS Web on and linking 7+ CDS/ISIS library database including one
    in Italy. Work is currently underways to link the databases of many Indonesian major
 Knowledge management to support distance education activities are being developed by
    Computer Network Research Group (CNRG) ITB. It is led by & partly
    supported by IBM ( .
 Link exchange of Indonesia Peer Academic Network & Education Link (Indonesia- ) located at It aims to enable
    resource sharing among educational institutions over Internet.
 ITB's is currently hosting 150+ Indonesian Internet mailing lists
    serving 15.000+ subscribers It is one of the largest Indonesian mailing list service in Internet.
    Some of the mailing lists are archived and serving national policy framework, such as, & .
 The AIII Indonesia is also supporting the Nusantara-21 on various level including the web and mailing list at &

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