The Internet is a relatively new communication medium in Indonesia, an archipelago that includes more than 17,000 islands. Several Internet access services are available, ranging from fibre optic, ADSL to mobile Internet. Telephone line-based service was among the first Internet access services in the country with PT Telkom as the leading player who controlled most fixed-line telephone networks.
Based on OpenSignal in November 2016, there were only 58.8% of internet users in Indonesia who received 4G LTE signal, and received only HSPA+ signal or lower the rest of the time, ranking Indonesia 51st in the world. The download speed using 4G LTE in Indonesia was only an average of 8.79Mbit/s (ranked 74th in the world).
Based on the Indonesia Internet Service Providers Association, in mid-2016, there were 132.7 million internet users, representing more than half of the Indonesian population. Only 3% of users are 50 years old or over, but surprisingly 100% in the 10–14 age bracket. Users on the island of Java dominated (65%), followed by Sumatra with 15.7 million users. Almost 90% of users were employees and students. Almost all of the users knew about e-commerce, but only 10.4 million users used the internet for transactions. Almost 70% of the users used their mobile phones for access.
According to eMarketer in 2014 Indonesia had 83.7 million users (in sixth place behind Japan), but Indonesia is predicted to surpass Japan in 2017, due to slower growth rate in Japan than Indonesia.
According to Akamai Technologies, Indonesia, with nine connections to undersea cables, had in Q1 2014 an average Internet connection speed of 2.4 Mbit/s, which was an increase of 55% from the previous year. Just 6.6% of homes had access to 4 Mbit/s or higher speed connections. However, in Q4 2014, the average internet connection speed was 1.9Mbit/s or dropped about 50% from Q3 2014 with 3.7Mbit/s.
Based on the Indonesia Internet Service Providers Association, in Q4 2013, there were 71.19 million Internet users in Indonesia or about 28% of Indonesia's population. According to Cisco's Visual Networking Index, in 2013, Indonesia had the world's second-fastest growth of IP traffic and has become an "Internet of Everything" country.
July 2011: Based on Nielsen's survey, 48% of Internet users in Indonesia used mobile phones for access, whereas another 13% used other handheld multimedia devices. It represents the highest dependence on mobile internet access in Southeast Asia, although Indonesia has the lowest level of overall internet penetration in the region with only 21% of Indonesians aged between 15 and 49 using the Internet.
According to a survey conducted by the Association of Internet Service Providers in Indonesia, the number of internet users in Indonesia reached 171.17 million at the beginning of 2019. The Indonesian government is eager to complete the Palapa Ring project, an undersea fiber-optic cable network across the country to offer affordable and faster internet access. It is expected to be fully completed by August 2019. The project comprises three sections – the west, central and east – that would span around 13,000 kilometers. It aims to expand domestic broadband service nationwide, particularly in the remote rural regions. The project is estimated to cost Rp 1.38 trillion (US$ 97.74 million) and would provide 4G access with speeds of up to 30 Mbps. In addition to connecting all of Indonesia in the telecommunications network, the Palapa Ring development is intended to reduce the gap in telecommunications services between Java and other regions in Indonesia.
May 2011: Based on TNS research, Indonesia has the world's second-largest number of Facebook users and the third-largest number of Twitter users. Eighty-seven percent of Indonesians have social networking site accounts, but only 14% access the sites daily, far below the global average of 46% due to access from old phones or inconvenient internet cafes. In line with the increase of cheap Android smartphones recently, there is the possibility that Indonesian internet user activity will increase as well.
Based on the Yahoo Net Index survey released in July 2011, the internet in Indonesia still ranks second after television in terms of media usage. Eighty-nine per cent of users were connected to social network, 72% used the internet for web browsing, and 61% read the news.
Indonesian Internet service providers (ISPs) offer service on PT Telkom's ADSL network. ADSL customers usually receive two separates bills, one for the ADSL line charges to PT Telkom and another for Internet service charges to the ISP.
All of the GSM major cellular telecommunication providers offer 3G, 3.5G HSDPA and 4G LTE, which cover cities and countrysides. They include Indosat, Telkomsel, Excelcomindo (XL) and 3. The usage of CDMA EV-DO has been phased out as the last provider, Smartfren, pulled its support in 2017 and converted to LTE-A.
Internet filtering in Indonesia was deemed 'substantial' in the social arena, 'selective' in the political and internet tools arenas, and there was no evidence of filtering in the conflict/security arena by the OpenNet Initiative in 2011 based on testing done during 2009 and 2010. Testing also showed that Internet filtering in Indonesia is unsystematic and inconsistent, illustrated by the differences found in the level of filtering between ISPs.
Indonesia was rated "partly free" in Freedom on the Net 2015 with a score of 42, midway between the end of the "free" range at 30 and the start of the "not free" range at 60.
Although the government of Indonesia holds a positive view about the internet as a means for economic development, it has become increasingly concerned over the impact of access to information. It has shown an interest in increasing its control over offensive online content, particularly pornographic and anti-Islamic online content. The government regulates such content through legal and regulatory frameworks and partnerships with ISPs and Internet cafes.
Media reported that selective blocking of some web sites for brief periods began in 2007–2008. Indonesia ordered ISPs to block YouTube in April 2008 after Google reportedly did not respond to the government's request to remove the film Fitna by the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, which purportedly mocked the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. In May 2010, when an account on Facebook promoted a competition to draw Muhammad, government officials took a more focused approach and sent a letter to Facebook urging closure of the account, asked all ISPs to limit access to the account's link, and invited the Indonesian Association of Internet Cafe Entrepreneurs to restrict access to the group. Due to opposition from bloggers and civil society, however, ISPs disregarded the government's requests, and the account remained accessible.
In March 2008, the government passed the Law on Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE Law), which broadened the authority of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCI) to include supervision of the flow of information and possible censorship of online content. In early 2010, the ministry published a draft Regulation on Multimedia Content that, if implemented, would require ISPs to filter or otherwise remove specific materials. The types of content listed include vaguely-worded categories such as pornography, gambling, hate incitement, threats of violence, exposure of private information, intellectual property, false information, and contents that degrade a person or group based on a physical or nonphysical attribute, such as disability. Following public outcry, the government announced that it would take time to process suggestions from the public before proceeding with the draft regulation.
Under the ITE Law, anyone convicted of committing defamation online faces up to six years in prison, and a fine of up to one billion rupiah (US$111,000). As of June 2010, there were at least eight cases in which citizens had been indicted on defamation charges under the ITE Law for comments on e-mail lists, blogs, or Facebook. Prosecutions under the ITE Law have contributed to an increased atmosphere of fear, caution, and self-censorship among online writers and average users.
On 22 May 2019, Indonesian government blocked Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram for three days after 22 May riots in Jakarta to prevent hoax and fake news of the situation during the riots from spreading. The event also increased awareness of using VPN to access blocked content during the block.
On 22 August 2019, amid Papua protests, Indonesia's Communication Ministry said that on the previous night they cut off telecommunication data and Internet in Papua to "curb hoax and most importantly stop people from sharing provocative messages that can incite racial hatred" until and "if the situation has calmed". As of 2 September 2019, the Internet blackout was ongoing. The government announced a ban on fake news and the "carrying out or spreading separatism in expressing opinions in public".
As of 29 May 2013, the Indonesian Defence Ministry has proposed plans for creating a cyber army in order to protect the state's portals and websites. Though no law has yet been created in order to maintain and establish the cyber army, the ministry is seeking talented Internet security specialists who, upon hiring, would be trained in information technology and use methods to defend against cyber-attacks.
Upon learning that about 80% of local internet traffic went abroad, the government began to encourage Indonesian institutions, business people and the public in general to use domestic domains. In mid-April 2015, there were about 20,000 .id domains and about 47,000 .co.id domains. The government targeted one million domestic domains with funding of Rp 50 billion ($3.85 million). Some users with non-domestic domains also possess domestic domains and redirect searches from its non-domestic domains to domestic domains.
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