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House of Representatives Pushes for Free Internet

The commission I of the Indonesian House of Representatives has requested the government provide free internet amidst the large-scale social restriction policy (PSBB) since the public is being encouraged to work from home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sukamta, a member of Commission I, has asked the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kemenkominfo) that the internet be free during the pandemic, approximately for the next three to four weeks.

“It is appropriate that government lightens the public’s burden by facilitating free internet to residents, not business entities, during the coronavirus outbreak,” said Sukamta.

Sukamta also requested that the government accommodate free mobile charging for online motorcycle taxis or online ojek partners due to the surge in food orders and goods delivery orders during PSBB.

Internet usage and costs will rise with the policy of PSBB, it also complicates the lives of the people who must work from home as a result of PSBB, such as teachers.

“Many people send large-file videos. Kemenkominfo should ensure internet speed in Indonesia with increasing traffic data. The internet usage increases thus the world’s internet speeds slows down,” said Sukamta.

Ookla, a company that tests internet speed, reported slower internet speeds in Malaysia and India, under 80 Mbps. Sukamta said the speed of Indonesia’s internet would also slow down.

“Indonesia’s internet speed is also likely to slow down, so the government needs to anticipate that early. For example, by increasing the quota so that the internet traffic can still be handled,” said Sukmata.

The Ministry of Communications and Informatics stated that mobile operators have contributed Rp1.9trillion. This had been in the form of free internet, including for schools, campuses, and educational institutions.

Nevertheless, the Minister of Communications and Informatics, Johnny G. Plate, has asked operators to contribute to the improvement of quality and internet service in Indonesia. Johnny said the biggest internet use previously had been at offices or school areas, but currently, the use of internet has changed to residential areas.

“There are five to 10 per cent internet enhancements. It’s still below last year during Idul Fitri which reached 20 to 30 per cent, ” said Johnny. However, he believes the capacity of telecommunication networks is still capable of facing spikes and changes in traffic.

Meanwhile, general chairman of Telecommunication Organising Association of all Indonesia (ATSI), Ririek Adriansyah said the operators has issued a new investment to adjust to the internet usage pattern.

If the operators don’t make adjustments, Ririek predicts the capacity of the network in housing areas won’t be able to accommodate the surge in internet data traffic. In addition, the closed service outlets also force operators to customise additional services such as SIM card delivery.

The operators provide incentives for special data packages that help people in school to learn from home. Packages are devoted to students who need access to an educational platform, pointed out the President Director of Smartfren, Merza Fachys.

On the other hand, Vice President Director of Tri Hutchison, Danny Buldansyah noted that operators have operational costs that are large enough to maintain the network quality during PSBB.

“We also have an obligation to keep the service so that people can work, learn from home, and worship at home where possible. We provide products that are very affordable for the community to do daily activities,” said Danny.

There are a number of free internet packages provided by operators to support home-study activities.

Tri (3)

The Unlimited AlwaysOn plan has free internet for all applications that support PSBB. This package is valid at 01:00-17:00.

Customers are free to access applications such as Skype, Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangout, Edmodo, Ruangguru, Quipper, Zenius, Google Classroom, social media, and other entertainment applications.

XL

A free 2GB/day programme to access a number of applications or data services that can help people learn or work from home.

Applications included are Udemy, teacher room, Zenius, and Rumah Belakar for students, applications from Microsoft Office 365, from One Drive to Skype for Business.

In addition, there are 14 campuses whose lecture materials can be accessed for free through this programme, from Padjajaran University to Tanjung Pura University.

Indosat

Free internet access to several digital learning platforms such as Ruangguru, Quipper, Sekolahmu.com, and Rumah learning is available. There is a 30GB free quota to access the applications.

Meanwhile, to meet customer communication needs during work at home, IM3 Ooredoo provides up to 30 percent discount on some internet packages available

Telkomsel

This operator provides a data package with 30GB quota for e-learning access from Ruangguru, Quipper, Zenius, Proficient, Bahaso, Sekolahmu, Learning House, 137 e-learning site of higher education in Indonesia, and Indonesian Spada site owned by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

To support people working from home, Telkomsel gives access to CloudX Meeting service for 60GB and 30 GB of RP10.

Source: CNN Indonesia

Image: Merdeka

See: eCommerce is the Winner During Economic Slowdown

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