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The Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SpaceX's Starlink to provide internet access across Indonesia. Starlink is focusing on rural areas, especially the underdeveloped and remote regions of the archipelago.

According to APJII, 79.5% of the Indonesian population is connected to the internet. Urban areas have a penetration rate of 82.2%, while 74% of people in rural areas are currently connected to the internet. However, rural internet users only make up 30.5% of total internet usage.

Expanding Coverage

APJII Chairman, Muhammad Arif, mentioned that integrating Starlink services with existing infrastructure will help local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) expand their coverage. Starlink can also utilize terrestrial infrastructure to reach more users across Indonesia.

Linking Starlink to the Indonesia Internet Exchange (IIX) aims to bolster internet connectivity within the archipelago, fostering better accessibility and enhancing service quality for users across the region. This integration seeks to leverage the advanced capabilities of Starlink to overcome existing infrastructure limitations and provide more reliable and high-speed internet access to individuals and communities throughout Indonesia.

Notably, SpaceX has applied for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) permit and a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) license to operate in Indonesia.

Furthermore, Starlink plans to enhance internet connectivity in the new capital city of Ibu Kota Nusantara (IKN), with feasibility tests starting soon. Indonesia's Communications and Informatics Minister, Budi Arie Setiadi, mentioned that Starlink has met most requirements to operate in Indonesia. As long as Starlink follows local regulations and pays spectrum fees, it will be allowed to enter the market.

Bridging the Digital Divide

Setiadi also praised Starlink's partnership with APJII, stating that it will benefit various regions in Indonesia, especially in the eastern part of the country. The significance of the eastern part of Indonesia lies in its unique geographical and demographic characteristics. This region encompasses vast stretches of remote islands and sparsely populated areas, presenting significant challenges in terms of infrastructure development and connectivity. Historically, these areas have often been underserved in terms of internet access due to the difficulty of laying traditional terrestrial cables across rugged terrains and vast expanses of ocean.

By partnering with APJII and extending Starlink's network to these remote eastern regions, there's an opportunity to bridge the digital divide and uplift communities that have traditionally been left behind. Improved internet connectivity in these areas can unlock a wealth of socio-economic opportunities, including access to online education, healthcare services, e-commerce platforms, and communication channels. Furthermore, enhanced connectivity can stimulate economic growth by fostering entrepreneurship and enabling businesses to reach broader markets.


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