In some recent articles, they talk about the average speed of internet worldwide. Unfortunately, Indonesia is still in number 77 with the average of speed with 3.7 mbps. It is surely still far away from South Korea with 25.3 mbps and then this K-pop country is followed by Hong Kong with 16.3 mbps and Japan with 15.0 mbps. For the area of Asian Pacific, Indonesia is still under Thailand with 6.6 mbps but above Vietnam and India with 2.5 mbps and 2.0 mbps respectively.
The further data also explain that the highest connection in Indonesia is up to 25.8 mbps and there are only around 35% of the internet users connected to the broadband more than 4 mbps. It shows that there are still many Indonesian internet users find it difficult to access the internet connection. More than that, if the highest connection is located in Java Island, how is the condition beyond Java including West Papua? There are indeed some providers who try their best to reach rural areas like in West Papua. However, even the best and the fastest provider of internet, it is not on its best in the areas of Papua. The 3G or 4G indicators don’t make it give people the speed of 3G or 4G. It is even still 2G. Of course, it is really disappointing.
With an assumption that the indicators of networking quality in West Papua are EDGE and 3G, it can be concluded that the speed of internet access is around 20-40kbps and 500-700 kbps. The 700 kbps is the fastest one particularly in the urban areas like Manokwari and Sorong. It is not bad for sure. However, in the peak hours, this speed is relatively lower. On the other hand, in other areas like Raja Ampat, Fakfak, and more, the access tends to be much lower. The speed of internet on its HSPA 1-3 mbps is only on certain spots and conditions. It is when the device is in the distance relatively close to the BTS and it must be done in the early morning before the sun comes out.
This problem should be paid attention by the government more for so many reasons. In other areas in Indonesia, internet is already one of the most important factors how the social and economy sectors can be developed so rapidly. Despite the internet enables people to be interconnected more simply and easily, it supports the growth of financial conditions. It is including the phenomenon of E-commerce. Online stores that have been viral nowadays tend to ease people to fulfill their daily necessities. It gives them more chances to enjoy the products not only available around but also offered by sellers beyond their areas. If other provinces in Indonesia, mainly in Java are able to enjoy this facility, West Papua must have the same thing.
The Actions from Government
The government actually doesn’t stay quiet in facing this problem. In fact, they have made some plans and done some actions to make Papuan people more aware in internet. Starting from 2017, some projects have been done and it is planned to be done in the near future. The Minister of Communication and Information, Rudiantara states that the optical cables would be installed throughout Papua, West Papua, Maluku, and East Nusa Tenggara. The survey has done and when the contract signing between company to execute and bank is also done, it means that the project would be started.
The minister also mentioned that the contract signing was done in March, 2017. The next schedules were finalization of financial process and it was ready to install. Particularly in the West Papua, the cable installation will be done in some regency including Sorong Selatan, Maybrat, Tambrauw, Teluk Wondama, Teluk Bintuni, Manokwari Selatan, and Arfak mountains. Those new 8 areas will be connected to other 2 areas that have been installed before; they are Sorong and Manokwari. The optical cable will be installed both on the land and under the sea. It is with a high expectation that all people in Papua will be able to enjoy high-speed internet connection. The installation will also be adapted by the trans-road on the areas.
The Effects of New Internet Optic Cable Installation
It is clear then why there is a problem of low speed internet in the area of West Papua. It is for the facts that the current areas with internet installation is only in Sorong and Manokwari. Meanwhile, the only places are only able to enjoy the “remaining” of signal. With the additional internet netwroking to be installed, it is expected that not only more people are able to use internet but also the quality of internet in West Papua can be better. Sure, it also means the development of social and economy of people in Papua in general. So, let’s hope that this project can be finished soon.