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Indonesia players double down on FTTH commitments

ITEM: The Indonesia FTTH Association (IFA) welcomed 17 new members on Wednesday and committed itself to lead development of Indonesia's FTTH infrastructure, boost digital service transformation and enhance cooperation across the industry value chain in support of the government’s “Digital Economy Agenda”.

At the first-ever Indonesia FTTH Association Summit, the IFA – which operates under MASTEL (Indonesia ICT Society) – pledged to boost development of a fixed broadband ecosystem that includes not just fiber deployments, but also development of Smart City and government initiatives such as e-government, e-education and e-health, as well as various other commercial services.

New IFA members include incumbent Telkom Indonesia, MyRepublic, Link Net, Jababeka and Huawei Technologies, among others. Huawei – which also sponsored the summit and showcased its FTTH and smart home solutions – plans to contribute to the initiative by providing “infrastructure, best solutions, global experiences and technology knowledge”, said Daniel Tang, Huawei CTO of Fixed Network.

Indonesia has recently become a hotbed of FTTH activity, thanks to the government’s Indonesia Broadband Plan (IBP) – launched in October 2014 – which has set targets for 71% household penetration at 20 Mbps in the urban districts, 100% building penetration at 1 Gbps, and 49% suburban household penetration at 10 Mbps, all by 2019.

But rollout progress has been slow and lopsided, hindered by numerous issues, from rights-of-way regulations and infrastructure monopolies to affordability. That has to change if Indonesia is going to reach its full potential in the coming digital services era, said IFA chairman Suwanto Gunawan.

“Today, the digital economy agenda is a priority for Indonesia and will be the backbone of our national economic growth. However, the number of broadband user has only reached 4.3 million people and the penetration of fixed broadband has only reached 7% nationwide,” he said. “There is a huge market gap to be filled and MASTEL, through IFA, are expected to push the development of fixed broadband towards a new milestone by guiding the development of this area.”

Under the declaration signed onstage at the IFA Summit, IFA and MASTEL will collaborate to formulate right-of-way regulations and promote infrastructure sharing strategies.

They will also “support and promote coordinated policies among the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing to accelerate the deployment of fiber optic throughout Indonesia as part of the National Broadband Infrastructure and push sustainable development of fiber optic broadband as the core infrastructure to accelerate broadband and smart cities in Indonesia.”

Indeed, smart cities were a recurring theme throughout the summit, as cities like Surabaya, Jakarta, Banyuwangi, Bandung and Banda Aceh have already kicked off various smart city initiatives. Surabaya mayor Tri Rismaharini talked about her city’s current and future smart-city activities. In his opening address, MASTEL chairman Kristiono said that smart cities and digital services won't thrive without a nationwide FTTH network as the foundation.

Consequently, MASTEL and IFA have identified FTTH network upgrade opportunities and will explore strategic collaborations starting with those cities to initiate pilot projects to further optimize usage.