Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono is upbeat that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, would provide affordable internet access to Indonesian fishermen.

"I hope Starlink (owned by Elon) can be utilized by Indonesian fishermen at affordable prices," he wrote on Instagram on Monday.

The minister met Musk at a trial event for LEO satellite-based internet services at the Sumerta Kelod Community Health Center in Denpasar, Bali, on Sunday (May 19).

Meanwhile, Trenggono's Special Assistant for Media and Public Communications, Doni Ismanto, conveyed the need for communication technology services to accommodate fishermen while fishing or those living in remote areas.

According to Ismanto, satellite-based internet has the advantage of supporting fishermen's activities at sea, as it uses low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite technology with a more stable internet connection.

That way, fishermen can still get internet access during fishing or from their remote areas, Ismanto noted.

However, Starlink service prices for the maritime sector tend to be high. Quoted from the Starlink website, high-speed internet in the waters starts at Rp4,345,000 (US$270) per month, with hardware costs of Rp43,721,590 (US$2,740).

"If it can be reduced by 50 percent of the service prices and free equipment, it will help our fishermen. Minister Trenggono seems to be lobbying this idea with Elon," Ismanto stated.

Moreover, he emphasized that satellite-based internet access is needed to implement quota-based, measurable fishing policies. The ministry has an e-PIT application that can be elaborated with the Starlink internet service.

With stable and high-speed internet, the monitoring system's performance becomes more optimal for detecting the movement of fishing vessels, he noted.

Based on the 2022 fishing vessel data recorded in the ministry's Satudata system, there were more than 900,000 motorized fishing vessels, with 772,000 of them with a measurement under 5 GT.

Ismanto could not yet confirm when asked regarding the potential for cooperation with Starlink services. However, his side plans to use SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket as a launch vehicle for the Cakra-1 satellite in the next few months.

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Translator: Putu Indah S, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Anton Santoso
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