State ministry of Department of Communication and Informatics, M. Nuh stated Internet users in Indonesia are today still highly centralized in Indonesia’s big cities (Lin, 2008: July 4). Indonesian government has urged on the establishment of Internet connection based on believe that the Internet will bring goodness first and foremost in education and economy to the society.
Indonesia is the giant archipelago: 17 thousands of islands through out 1.919.440 km2 of total area. The effort of establishing the Internet Infrastructure has struggled against – one of them – Indonesia’s geographic contour like: thousands of islands which are separated by the ocean and mountain range areas. These facts have caused most of telecommunication companies will only work the Internet infrastructure in profitable area (Awe, 2008: July 16).
Internet access is a big issue for people in small and remote cities of Indonesia, mainly reasons are the Internet connection networks and the cost. Under PT Telkom monopoly in telecommunication, most people in remote areas have connected to the Internet using dial up access. For this they have had to pay for the expensive long distance telephone connection price.
Since 5th of January 2006, Indonesian government has freed frequency of 2.4 GHz for society benefits in Internet wireless connection. This was an encouragement for the establishment Internet literacy movement in Indonesia (beware, I use this resource, which i dug from wikipedia, so I think I have to make some interviews to the related parties). Waste no time in the telecommunication infrastructure development, in May 2005 Telkomsel had succeed at testing the 3G technology in Jakarta with support from Siemens and Nokia network technology. At last, in September 12 2006 Telkomsel and XL was certified by Departemen Komunikasi dan Informatika RI to serve 3G technology for peoples in Jabotabek area.
Combined with landline telephone network, fiber optics backbone infrastructure, fixed wireless transmissions, VSAT, and submarine fiber optics, the network spans across Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Singapore (as Business Solution’s international Leased Line gateway) (Siluyi, 2008: April 14). Unfortunately, in many areas of Indonesia, it would be difficult to get access to fiber optics backbone. Thus, the solution would be satellite based backbone infrastructure or mobile wireless.
There are many stories from remote cities and islands in Indonesia in relation the way they bear down to get hold of the Internet connection. With plenty of reasons there are number of peoples grappling with the Internet connection from unreachable distance:
Last Sunday, I went back to my kampung (kampung is Indonesia language for small village). My village was no reachable by land trip transportation on account of its location: it was only small island surrounded by the Ocean and there was no bridge to cross over between the islands. In my village there was no electricity from PLN or telecommunication connection. The villager could get their temporarily electricity from the power generator which supply them the electricity only from 6.00 pm to 11.00 pm, it meant that for about 19 hours the villagers had to run life without electricity. Albeit a lot of the local villager owned mobile phones. They provided GSM antenna to get the signal for their mobile phone by move the mobile phone closer to the antenna. In the room, I tried to connect the Internet that night using my laptop’s bluetooth to my Sony Ericsson k550i and thanks God I got connected to the Internet using that device. The villagers, astonishing to the never seen device before, surrounded me. They were illiterate, had no idea about the Internet.
J. Suryantoro’s blog
“General Service Radio Packet”. The title is so thrilling, isn’t it? As if I was going to talk about the GPRS specialty, but not. I am sharing my blood, sweat and tears in connecting the Internet in Bunyu Island. Actually, I posted the same story in my articles “Terpaksa Harus Memilih” (to choose), therein I complained about the barriers we’ve faced in Bunyu Island to get the Internet access, click this link”
So I linked it, a new page was opened, its content was
“Maaf, nomor yang sampeyan hubungi sedang tidak aktif atau sedang berada di luar angkasa.” (Sorry, the number that you are calling is being engaged or is out of the space).
And now the Internet connection in my city is better. There are also lots of warnets providing way better Internet connections; in fact several warnets serve the 384 kpbs of speed. Free WiFi can be enjoyed in several places, especially at school in Tarakan. Yes, Tarakan island has been changed lately. Not that I want to complain, but one thing remains to be found: I keep using the 56 kbps of Internet connection speed. The faster Internet connection is not available for public, yet Speedy is not available. So for doing web site design stuffs, I feel good be able to create not-more-than-50 KB-per-page-web. Yeah, that’s the best education you can get from WalMart connection. Ha!