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Expanding Internet Access in Indonesia


FILE - Indonesian youths browse at an internet cafe in Jakarta, Indonesia. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

The U.S. is determined to work with Indonesia to expand broadband infrastructure and create an economic environment that enables affordable Internet connections.

The Internet is rapidly becoming a major economic driver in the world, and its economic and social benefits are increasingly shifting to developing nations, like Indonesia.

The United States believes that the Internet should be open and accessible to everyone, said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Daniel Sepulveda in a speech in Indonesia. It will take a collective effort to bridge the digital divide, and that’s why the United States is determined to work with Indonesia to expand broadband infrastructure and create an economic environment that enables affordable Internet connections.

Indonesia’s impressive economic growth could help it realize the country’s potential as a regional leader in the information and communications technology industry. This will not only reinforce existing economic development, but will also give more people invaluable opportunities to contribute to political, economic, and social discourse.

Last year’s creation of Indonesia’s National Broadband Plan was an important first step in the process of bridging the digital divide in this country. The plan’s ambitious use of the Universal Service Fund serves as a positive example for the entire ASEAN community, and its aim to connect all public sector facilities like health centers, government offices, and school buildings is of vital importance.

As the Internet has evolved into the critical resource it is today, governments are grappling with what their role should be and how much power or control they should be able to exercise.

The U.S. believes governments must make a choice: to enable the Internet’s growth or detract from it. The Internet has flourished because of the bottom-up, consensus based process that allows all stakeholders to participate in its growth and governance. This market-driven, multistakeholder approach has worked well, and it is the strongest tool to help rapidly emerging economies, like Indonesia, embrace all the opportunities that the Internet has to offer.

The U.S. looks forward to partnering with Indonesia as the country works to reach its ambitious connectivity goals. Together, said Ambassador Sepulveda, "we can create an environment in which innovation can flourish and connectivity can enrich more lives every day."

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