Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government is working to improve the quality of national internet connectivity to bring it on par with other countries with better internet coverage and speed, an official said on Wednesday.

"Speaking of national connectivity, currently, internet coverage and speed in Indonesia still need improvement. Hence, the strategic message from the minister is about speed," said Sarwoto Atmosutarno, a member of the special staff to the Minister of Communication and Information, in Jakarta.

Citing the SpeedTest Global Index published in October 2023, he noted that Indonesia's median download speed for fixed broadband stood at 28.28 Mbps, ranking it 124th out of 182 countries. As for the median mobile broadband download speed, Indonesia is positioned 95th out of 142 countries, with a speed of 24.65 Mbps.

He emphasized that increasing national internet network connectivity should be prioritized to catch up with other countries.

He explained that several challenges should be overcome in improving Indonesia's internet connectivity, such as the high cost of deploying fiber optics, distribution of fiber optics concentrated in major cities, and obstacles in terms of licensing.

Atmosutarno remarked that to overcome those challenges, efforts are needed to encourage widespread fiberization, including defining new targets, such as speed and coverage targets in the short term up to the next five years.

"We also need to develop measurable steps and strategies to achieve these targets up to the implementation and monitoring and evaluation phases," he remarked.

He also invited the Association of Telecommunication Network Operators (APJATEL) to be actively involved in supporting the preparation of the telecommunication infrastructure master plan initiated by the Ministry of Communication and Informatics.

The master plan is deemed urgent to guide comprehensive planning, starting from mapping the ideal needs for internet bandwidth in Indonesia to selecting the right technology, affirming local industry players, and planning milestones.

"Through APJATEL's involvement, we are confident that plans for the development, construction, and utilization of telecommunications infrastructure can effectively address the needs of society, particularly in accelerating national digital transformation," Atmosutarno remarked.

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Translator: Fathur Rochman, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Anton Santoso
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