Jakarta. Days of slow and unstable internet connection will come to an end in most parts of Indonesia with the government promising to complete its Palapa Ring project by 2019 in a ministry statement.
Palapa Ring will provide fast broadband internet to the entire archipelago through an undersea fiber-optic cable network spun on nearly 11,000 kilometers, according to goverment estimates.
"By 2019, every district capital and municipality will be connected to broadband," Communications and Information Technology Minister Rudiantara said on Wednesday (28/09).
Palapa Ring project deploys 2,000-km of fiber-optic cable in the western part of the archipelago, 2,700-km fiber-optic in its central part and around 6,300-km fiber-optic in the eastern part of the country.
The project will allow Indonesians in remote areas to enjoy internet speed as fast in Jakarta, Rudiantara said. He said that while the average downloading speed in Jakarta was 7-megabit per second, in the eastern parts of the country it was around 300-kilobit per second.
A day earlier, President Joko Widodo held a special meeting on e-commerce industry, urging his administration to support the growing sector through appropriate infrastructure and policies.
The president said e-commerce sales reached only 0.6 percent of all retail transactions in the country in 2014, while the e-commerce sector can benefit around 56 million small and medium enterprises in the country, that together yield around 55 percent of the gross domestic product.
"I'm sure this potential can be the foundation of Indonesia's becoming the Southeast Asia's biggest digital economy," he said in a meeting at the State Palace.
The president wants to simplify regulations related to e-commerce industry and organize workshops in villages to have more Indonesians involved in the sector.
Chief Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said after the meeting that Indonesia will soon release another policy package, with a special focus on the e-commerce sector.
The policy package will be the country's fourteenth deregulation package. It is likely to contain a roadmap for e-commerce industry, with a guide on future regulations on online trade of goods and services and transfers of data and money. It will be enacted through a Presidential Regulation to avoid overlapping authority of ministries involved.