Jakarta. Banyuwangi district in East Java will be providing fiber optic connections to all villages in 2017 to speed up public services.
The district government signed a memorandum of understanding with information and communications technology service provider and developer firm Indonesia Comnets, which will allow 145 villages to be connected via ICT infrastructure by next year.
Banyuwangi district head Abdullah Azwar Anas said this goes along with the Smart Kampung (smart village) program which allows rural development to be integrated with ICT-based communications.
The program aims to improve the quality of public services, productive economic activity, an increase in education and health, as well as poverty eradication efforts.
"The criterion for Smart Kampung is the availability of ICT, which serves as a backbone of acceleration in public services at the village level," Abdullah said.
The provision of ICT will cut travel time due to the geographical size of Banyuwangi. The district head explained that it can take up to three hours to travel from the farthest village to the city center.
"With Smart Kampung, the bureaucracy will all be done at the village level, but it would take an efficient ICT infrastructure," Abdullah said.
He added that Smart Kampung is already being adopted in 44 villages and said he hopes to have all connected by 2017 to improve provincial competitiveness and build infrastructure.
He also hopes to improve living standards as it would provide Banyuwangi residents with a connection for learning, business and networking.