ITB: Academics need to contribute to Indonesia’s digital strategy

Indonesia’s digital strategy webinar. (PT. LAPI ITB) – The Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) via PT LAPI ITB hosted a national webinar discussion on “Indonesia’s Digital Strategies During and After COVID-19 – Ensuring the Quality of Experiences to Accelerate Digital Innovation and Transformation”.

In that discussion, he discussed the first pandemic in human history that involved large-scale use of information and communication technology (ICT) and social media. As the primary foundation of the global community in responding to COVID-19, it is necessary to provide reliable and trustworthy ICT services.

In this webinar on Indonesia’s digital strategy, moderated by Heru Sutadi, Executive Director of the Indonesia ICT Institute, the quality of ICT services was discussed.

The keynote speaker for this webinar was Deddy Priatmodjo Koesrindartoto, Head of ITB Business Management and Sustainable Funds, who represented Chancellor of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) Syed Ismail Shah, Head of ITU Area Representative for Southeast Asia and other member states in Asia and the Pacific , Rachmat Mardiatna, Director of Electricity, Telecommunications and Informatics of the Ministry of National Development Planning (PPN) / Bappenas, and Ahmad M. Ramli, Director General of Postal and Information Management (Dirjen PPI) of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics (Kominfo).

In the keynote session, each speaker expressed the same idea that synergies from all parties are required to accelerate the digital transformation that supports all areas of people’s lives. Defining the digitization strategy requires synergies between government, regulators, industry, science and society.

“Academics must also contribute to the preparation of Indonesia’s digital strategy,” said Deddy Priatmodjo Koesrindartoto from the ITB.

A similar phrase was also sent by the Head of the ITU Area Representative for South East Asia and Other Member States in Asia and the Pacific, Syed Ismail Shah. He said that individuals / communities, the business / corporate sector, telecom operators, government and the technology sector all play important roles.

He also made recommendations on best practices in the ICT sector implemented by ITU member countries / administrations in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indonesia’s digital strategy webinar. (PT. LAPI ITB)

Meanwhile, the Director of Electricity, Telecommunications and Informatics of the Ministry of National Development Planning / Bappenas Rachmat Mardiatna highlighted government interventions to accelerate digital transformation in strategic areas, particularly in rural areas and in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) .

Regarding the quality of ICT services, the General Director of PPI Kominfo Ahmad M. Ramli emphasized that quality must take people’s purchasing power into account. Ramli provides an example of the case of online commerce in Indonesia, which rose around 400% during the pandemic.

This phenomenon is only possible if people can afford internet data packets for their cell phones. Ramli emphasized that the term quality does not necessarily mean all the best quality parameters, but rather “ready to use”.

However, this does not mean neglecting the Quality of Service (QoS) that must be provided by the actors in the telecommunications industry. Ramli added that Kominfo will have a QoS monitoring center next year. With this monitoring center, Kominfo wants to protect consumers as well as industry. The players in the industry are expected to compete on quality rather than on price.

“We as regulators are always thinking contextually about how to encourage the industry to grow well, but consumers are also protected,” he said.

Kominfo has taken a number of steps to support ICT services in support of digital transformation during and after the pandemic. In the coming year 2023, Kominfo will connect all regions in Indonesia with a telecommunications infrastructure with at least one BTS per village.

One of the recent campaigns by the Ministry of Communications and Information is the move from analog television broadcasts to digital television, which is expected to be completed within the next two years after the job creation law is passed. As a result of this migration process, a frequency spectrum will be obtained that can support a wider diffusion of telecommunications services, which is also the key for future 5G development in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s digital strategy webinar. (PT. LAPI ITB)

ICT development as a countermeasure from an academic and government perspective

In the first discussion, which addressed academic and government perspectives on ICT development as a countermeasure, three speakers were ITB lecturer Muhammad Ridwan Effendi, a member of the Telecommunications Regulatory Committee at the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (KRT-BRTI) Setyardi Widodo and Senior Assistant to the Special Staff of the Minister of Communication and Information for Digital Affairs. and SDM Bhredipta convey interesting views.

On this occasion, the Bandung Institute of Technology, as part of the academic community, made recommendations for cooperation between all concerned. Muhammad Ridwan Effendi, Secretary General of the Center for Telecommunications Policy and Regulatory Studies of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), emphasized the importance of equitable access to telecommunications and the standardization of service quality. In particular, the government / regulatory authorities must pay attention to the standardization of the quality of data services, as the relevant ministerial regulations do not yet regulate the guarantee of data services.

Ridwan also gave a special notice that the Presidential Decree of the Republic of Indonesia No. 96 of 2014 regarding the Indonesian Broadband Plan 2014-2019 needs to be updated as the planning period has expired. The conditions facing the nation today, coupled with the direction of ICT service development, need to be taken into account when updating these regulations so that they can be translated into relevant standard quality of service parameters for the needs of digital transformation.

Meanwhile, the senior assistant to the Minister of Communications and Information for Digital and Human Resources, Bhredipta, presented the plan to build a national telecommunications surveillance center at this meeting.

Setyardi Widodo, a member of the Telecommunications Regulatory Committee at Indonesia’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (KRT-BRTI), said as one of the speakers that the government’s response to the pandemic can be summed up in accelerating digital transformation.

The government also needs to put in place a subsidy system to increase users’ purchasing power so that the public can welcome efforts to expand telecommunications coverage to remote areas. The momentum for the expansion of spectrum licensing and telecommunications operations can be used by the government as a lever to accelerate the acceleration.

Behavior and experience of ICT users during a pandemic

Both Opensignal CEO Brendan Gill, ATSI Chairman Ririek Adriansyah, and APJII Chairman Jamalul Izza shared similar facts regarding the state of telecommunications networks during the pandemic.

Telecommunications traffic has been observed to have increased dramatically, but players in the mobile and fixed line broadband industries have continued to moderate this situation. In line with what Kominfo said, ATSI and APJII have also announced that people’s purchasing power, especially during the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, is an equally important factor. This is why ATSI and APJII have also taken the initiative to start community empowerment programs.