Miracles do happen!
I'm referring to the fact that you are reading this blog entry before I've managed to post a subsequent one.
A series of earthquakes up to 7.1 on the Richter scale hit southern Taiwan yesterday. These 'disrupted' a telecommunications cable connection. It's not just Indonesia that's affected, but also Hong Kong and Singapore, both with excellent telecommunications, lost as much as 80% of their capacity.Indonesian users are affected by slow data transfer, difficulties in accessing foreign-based sites and disruptions to voice over internet protocol services. Jakarta Post
Actually, that's an everyday scenario here, but it's definitely now much worse. All we can do is shrug our shoulders and mutter "ho hum" under our breath because there is no way that the powers-that-should-be will get their act together any time soon.Gatot S. Dewa Broto, a spokesman at the Communication and Information Ministry's Post and Telecommunications Directorate General, told the Post that his office had yet to decide what steps were to be taken by the government, saying that it needed more time to grasp the urgency of the situation.
Read that paragraph again and spot the contradictions.
For years the telecommunications industry in Indonesia has been dominated by Telkom and Indosat. They control the Indonesian satellites, Palapa I and II (*and maybe III). The use of foreign satellites is strictly controlled under the 2005 Satellite Communications Law unless there are reciprocal rights. Hence the hundreds of internet service providers (ISPs) in the country use the alternative cable network.
The disruption to international communications will have drastic ramifications on the economy. Another report in today's Post concerns the 'digital divide' which refers to a report issued by the UN body, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) which theorizes that every 1 percent increase in information and telecommunications technology (ICT) would leverage economic growth by 3 percent.
And in Indonesian terms 1 percent growth would generate c.400,000 jobs. And here are some more (±) statistics as of a year ago:
- ICT penetration is 20 percent
- 60 percent (50,000) villages have no telecommunication facilities
- There were 8,500,000 fixed phone lines ~ 28% growth in 5 years
- There were 22,300,000 mobile phones ~ 610% growth in 5 years
- There were (only!!) 336,000 internet subscribers ~ 230% growth in 5 years (but 3 million have CDMA access)
These statistics demonstrate one thing: telecommunications are largely limited to urban dwellers mainly who live close to the relay stations and the country's wealth. It would be a miracle if that wealth were spread around the rest of Indonesia any time soon.
I'll leave you ~ until who knows when? ~ with a thought from the Guardian
which, in its blinkered utopianism, is at odds with the realities here. Maybe in two or three decades .......For two or three decades, economists and philosophers have questioned whether technology and rising wealth automatically mean greater well-being. In 2006, we finally realised that we are too inattentive to what makes us happy, a crucial step forward. Happiness is about earning the esteem of others, behaving ethically, contributing selflessly to human betterment and assuaging the need to belong. We have finally understood it is not economic growth that delivers these results - it is the way we behave.
(* SMALL PRINT: Apologies for any inaccuracies in this post. I don't have access to a search engine.)