Government to spend Rp20 trillion in 2017 for high-speed internet

Kendari, SE Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - The government will spend Rp20 trillion (US$1.5 billion) in 2017 to develop a high-speed internet network in districts that have yet to get access to the service, Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara stated.
"The government has targeted that all districts and cities in Indonesia would have a network using undersea cables to power the internet by the end of 2019," Rudiantara remarked at a seminar here on Wednesday.
The minister revealed that the districts of Buton, Central Buton, South Buton, Muna, West Muna, and North Buton in Southeast Sulawesi will be able to enjoy high-speed internet services.
The minister noted that development of the network can be accelerated through support of the local government to facilitate land release.
"I have ordered the contractors who won the tender to prioritize utilizing local workforce in the project except for the expert staff that would be the authority of the respective company," he stated.
The nationwide high-speed internet access initiative is being implemented for the period between 2014 and 2019. The program aims to boost economic competitiveness throughout the archipelago. The 2014-2019 Indonesia Broadband Plan requires a total funding of Rp278 trillion ($23.2 billion), 10 percent of which will be covered by the state budget.
The seminar was attended by Southeast Sulawesi Governor Nur Alam, communication expert of the Padjajaran University Prof. Dr Engkus Kuswarno, and Head of the Communication Science Association Dr Heri Budianto.(*)