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Rudiantara Critized Internet.org’s Economic Aspect

Amir Karimuddin - 5 May 2015

Facebook-initiated Internet.org got critized by Rudiantara, our Minister of Communication and Information. Unlike the commoners who regard the net neutrality as an issue, the Minister put his concern on the economic aspect of the program. He thought that most of operators will experience a terrible loss since they have yet enjoyed much from their investment in data services, hence free internet will never go by their side.

As being cited from Liputan 6, Rudiantara stated, “I told Indosat, the exit is widely open. Don’t give them this free access. It can’t be free.”

He added that most of local operators are losing their money since their services are seriously challenged by facilities (like VoIP and messaging services) provided by OTT enterprises.

Indosat argued that their decision in supporting the Internet.org program is in line with the Government’s mission to provide broadband internet access to 50% of Indonesian population by 2019. Out of a number of free services offered by the program, two Indonesian startups, namely Tokopedia and Kelase, have declared their involvement.

Indonesian operators are known to be against the net neutrality concept and have always attempted to find new revenue sources out of their data channels so that they can cover the huge investment they spent on the infrastructure.

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