The Jakarta Post
The Association of Indonesian Internet Providers ( APJII ) said the number of Indonesian Internet users reached 71.19 million in 2013, up by about 13 percent from 63 million users in the previous year.
'Internet penetration has continued to grow, currently reaching 28 percent of the total population of around 248 million people,' said APJII chairman Semuel A.Pangerapan, or Sammy, on Wednesday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the 'Indonesian Internet Industry Profile Handbook', jointly published by the APJII and the Central Statistics Agency ( BPS ) in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Despite the country's significant user growth in 2013, Sammy said he was pessimistic that Indonesia could meet International Telecom Union's ( ITU ) target of achieving 50 percent Internet literacy by 2015.
Based on the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs ) agreed on by the ITU, the number of Internet users in Indonesia is expected to reach 107 million in 2014 and to increase to 139 million users in 2015.
To achieve the targets, Sammy said, the government must provide incentives to Internet entrepreneurs.
'The government needs to facilitate Internet service providers and other stakeholders so that it can be easier for them to start their Internet businesses,' he said.
Sammy said Internet entrepreneurs were burdened by various requirements that were time and energy consuming, particularly on the universal service obligation ( USO ).
'The spirit of 'self-assessment' has turned into a spirit of distrust when the government started to involve the Finance and Development Comptroller ( BPKP ) to monitor the financial reports of Internet service providers,' said Sammy, adding that with such a less conducive business condition, he was not sure whether the target of 50 percent internet literacy by 2015 could be achieved.
'In the next two years, we need to add 52 million more internet users, or around 22 percent of the total Indonesian population, to reach the target,' he said. ( ebf )