Indonesia lauded for its PPP scheme to develop ICT infrastructure

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has been appraised for its public-private partnership (PPP) scheme to develop information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure.

"The PPP scheme carried out by Indonesian government can be used as a reference (for other countries)," the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General Houlin Zhou stated during a general lecture at the Communications and Information Ministry office in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He refers the PPP as a "creative approach" to connect more than 500 regions in the archipelago through the Palapa Ring broadband projects, which is expected to be completed and ready for service by 2019.

Zhou also considers the scheme as a solution to finance ICT development projects at the global level in order to connect 3.5 billion people who are yet connected online by 2020.

No less than US$450 billion is needed to connect around 1.5 billion people, statistics from ITU and the UN revealed.

"When I came to the World Bank to finance ICT projects, they stated that the financial institution does not have the money. Therefore, we consider the PPP as a solution, because investment is undeniably essential to support the infrastructure," Zhou emphasized.

Based on the principal of the importance of ICT to connect people and facilitate the social-economical development, he encourages other head of states and governments to consider implementing PPP for their ICT development.

In order to do so, governments are expected to create good environment to attract the investment and have a clear vision on ICT development.

The Palapa Ring project is the first PPP project in the ICT sector in Indonesia, which is carried out by applying the availability payment scheme, initiated by the Finance Ministry, and the source of availability funds derived from the Universal Service Obligation Funs (USO).

Claiming that Indonesia is the most advanced country in terms of utilizing its USO, Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara remarked that the unique financing model can be adopted by other countries too.

As the largest archipelagic country in the world, PPP is the best solution to provide broadband accessibility, he added.

"This is what the ITU wants other countries to adopt. The governments alignment policy, through its USO, is not implemented in other countries, but it can clearly be seen in Indonesia," Rudiantara noted.

The Communication and Information Ministry has signed three contracts for the western, central, and eastern packages of the project. The western package, worth Rp1.3 trillion, will be handled by the Moratel Triasmitra consortium. The central package, worth Rp1.4 trillion, will be handled by the Pandawa Lima consortium. The eastern package, worth Rp5.1 trillion, will be handled by the Smartfren consortium. *** 3 ***

Source: ANTARA News

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