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The geographical condition of Indonesia as an archipelagic country means that the need for satellites to meet the capacity of the telecommunications network is still quite high, especially since the Palapa Ring network that the government has built has only reached big cities. What’s more is that there are still many Palapa Ring backbone networks that don’t have LastMile to connect small cities.
The government is reminded to be careful in providing funding for the Satellite Indonesia Raya (SATRIA) project because it has the potential to harm the state.
The rise of global satellite operators that can serve consumers in Indonesia at much cheaper prices has made Mohammad Ridwan Effendi, Secretary General of the ITB Telecommunication Policy and Regulatory Studies Center, who is also a lecturer at the Telecommunications Engineering Study Program, worried about the effectiveness and utilization of the upcoming use of the satellite of the Republic of Indonesia (Satria). . Moreover, the funds used to purchase SATRIA satellites reached 21 trillion (not including the ground segment) and came from universal service obligation (USO) funds.
“To serve USO regions, the government should not need to have SATRIA satellites. Just rent it from an existing satellite operator. What’s more, the supply of satellite capacity in 2021 will be abundant. Abundant capacity prices will tend to fall. If the government has the SATRIA satellite, then there will be a very large waste of the budget, “said Ridwan.
Ridwan asked Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati to review the plan to use state money to finance SATRIA and evaluate it with the Minister of Communication and Information, Johnny G. Plate. Apart from reducing the waste of state money, the SATRIA satellite review can create a healthy business competition climate. Do not let the money from the operator be used by the state through BAKTI to fight the operator.
Ridwan said, the 150 thousand ground segments stated by the previous Minister of Communication and Information (Rudiantara) also included schools, state institutions, offices, hospitals in Java that already had telecommunications networks. If BAKTI with SATRIA satellite also serves areas where telecommunication services already exist (the relevant market), then the public service agency (BLU) under the Ministry of Communication and Information has become a telecommunications operator.
“It is feared that if the SATRIA satellite operates, it will cannibalize existing satellite operators. So the use of USO funds for SATRIA was inappropriate. If this happens, the satellite operator’s revenue will decrease and it will affect the USO funds from the satellite operator. Because USO is taken from 1.25% of the operator’s gross revenue, “explained Ridwan.
Ridwan explained that the original philosophy of USO funds was crowdfunding collected and deposited in the Ministry of Finance by telecommunications operators to build in areas that have not received telecommunications services at all. Not for regions where there are already telecommunication operators present.
“So that the use of USO funds for the BAKTI satellite which will serve 150 thousand points has deviated. Because the points targeted by BAKTI are not only USO areas. Don’t let SATRIA take the land of both the cellular and satellite operators. What’s more, the funds that BAKTI get from USO fees are also not big, “Ridwan concluded.