Government’s target of ‘Signal Independence’ has yet to be realized

The Minister of Communication and Information (Menkominfo), Johnny G. Plate. (Photo: Rayi Gigih/IO)

IO, Jakarta –The ‘Merdeka Sinyal’ (‘Signal Independence’) program in 2020 launched in the first period of the government of Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has yet to be realized. The program launched by the Ministry of Communication and Information, when it was led by Rudiantara, was carried out in order to build telecommunications infrastructure in the foremost, outermost, and disadvantaged (3T) regions.

Signal Independence can be interpreted this way: the government is targeting telecommunications infrastructure in remote areas, so those areas will be able to enjoy telecommunication signals, telecommunication and internet services in line with the inauguration of the Palapa Ring.

The Minister of Communication and Information (Menkominfo), Johnny G. Plate, corrected the target of Indonesia’s independence signal in 2020. The government will continue to build telecommunications infrastructure in a sustainable manner. “A full Signal Independence in 2020 is impossible to achieve. But, if the Signal Independence is interpreted as internet services reaching every district and sub-district, then it’s a success,” Johnny G Plate reported, in a meeting with the House of Representatives Commission I, Wednesday (05/02/2020).

Johnny detailed how currently the Accessibility and Information Agency (BAKTI) continues to provide passive BTS, which consists of towers and supporting equipment. “At present, approximately 1253 BTS community service units have been built. There are still 3400 new BTS, which will be installed stage-by-stage until 2024,” Johnny said.

Funding for the Bakti program reaches IDR. 3.17 trillion. Johnny said the Bakti program would free signals in more than 74,000 villages and 8,430 wards. They’ve been handling 73,728 villages, and there are still 9,456 villages that are still in progress.

“We want to correct an inaccurate perception of ‘Signal Independence’. All built infrastructure will make internet access available in the 3T areas. It is mandatory that new satellites have been prepared to fill service blind spots by 2022,” Johnny explained.

According to Johnny, the government has indeed built telecommunications infrastructure in various regions, ranging from cities to districts. However, that does not mean the government’s task in the “Signal Independence” program will be completed this year. “We reset the target for the year 2020 which is very limiting for one period of time, so that it will become relevant to all our efforts to free the signals not only in districts, but also in the regions, where the community exists, in a sustainable way, of course,” explained Johnny.

“The program is not limited by one period, it’s not only until 2024 or the end of Jokowi’s second term of office, but also expands beyond 2024. Beyond 2024 the program’s mission will also be carried out because the program of providing telecommunications access will be continued,” said Johnny. (dsy)