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Mastel Encourages Local Operators to Collaborate and Challenge Internet.org

Prayogo Ryza - 11 May 2015

Kristiono, Head of Indonesian Telematics Society (Mastel), gave his comment regarding the recently-launched Facebook’s Internet.org. He said that local operators shouldn’t ‘provide’ themselves to be the program’s partner in serving free internet access in Indonesia. He rather suggested them to collaborate and present Internet Nusantara.

Kristiono argued that Internet.org campaign will only be enjoyed by Facebook’s origin without any fruitful impact for Indonesia whatsoever. Indonesia is, in his opinion, merely Facebook’s potential market.

“It’s okay to provide free internet access, just don’t do that for business purposes. It’s like shopping abroad using our own local market. Every service and devisa will go overseas,” said Kristiono.

He further explained that by addressing Internet.org that way, didn’t mean that he rejected foreign products. He argued that since the Over The Top (OTT) player has yet established its data center in Indonesia, all of customers’ database are still stored in Facebook’s origin, the U.S.

“They need to build their infrastructure here. The communication is local, but the bandwidth goes to the U.S. The e-commerce users’ data is stored abroad but the transaction is done here,” he complained.

Thus, Kristiono suggested local operators to collaborate in providing Internet Nusantara, a direct competitor to Internet.org. He explained that his initiated program will be available for every Indonesian, along with its locally-managed data and content.

“Internet Nusantara works on Indonesian market. The data and traffic also reside in Indonesia,” he claimed.

As we all know that prior officially partnering with Indosat, Facebook had done a trial with XL in regard to its Internet.org campaign. However, the deal never happened since there were differences in business model they employ.

Internet.org enables free access to a number of services using Indosat SIM card (IM3, Mentari, and Matrix).So far, Tokopedia and Kelase have joined the list of local services that can be enjoyed for free through this program.

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