[PRESS RELEASE] Diffusion #76 – Answering the Challenges of Infrastructure and Digital Literacy in Indonesia

July 28, 2022 11:27 am || By

Youtube, 11 July 2022 – Indonesia has a huge digital economy potential with the adoption of technology by its society which tends to be fast. However, the issue of equitable distribution of digital infrastructure must be in line to support the goal of increasing the digital economy. To response this phenomenon, CfDS held Difussion #76 to discussing about “Answering the Challenges of Infrastructure and Digital Literacy in Indonesia”, which presented Syarif Lumintarjo as the Head of Coordinator of IIX & APJII Data Center and Vivi Zabkie, Research Manager of the Katadata Insight Center, as speakers. The excitement of the event discussion can be accessed through the CfDS Youtube channel in this following link. 

Syarif Lumintarjo gave his response regarding the impact of the pandemic on the development of digital infrastructure development in Indonesia. According to him, the existence of Covid-19 helped accelerate the use of digital technology, which indirectly forced most people to use digital technology. So that the increase in internet use occurs, which is up to more than 25 billion users today.

The opportunity for equitable distribution of digital infrastructure development in Indonesia was felt during the pandemic. For example, the increase in the use of domestically produced technology products due to the obstacles in the supply of new products from abroad. An increase in internet traffic is due to a shift in needs, such as an increase in e-retailing or e-grocery and digital payments, including in the health and education sectors. Many daily activities have turned digital.

“On the other side of these opportunities, there are bound to be obstacles. How is access in the regions is still difficult because infrastructure is not evenly distributed in Indonesia. The high financing and procurement process in the regions is a separate obstacle” said Syarif. 

According to Syarif, the government’s effort to accelerate infrastructure development in the 3T area is the implementation of the KPU/USO which needs to be improved. Because internet access is a condition for supporting society’s digital transformation, the technology and communication sector must continue to grow. The digital industry business model requires updating to increase efficiency.

Apart from improving infrastructure, according to Vivi Zabkie, community digital literacy also supports the development of society digitalization. Indonesia’s literacy index in 2021 will reach 3.49/5.00 or the same as only at a moderate level. The digital literacy index in the eastern region is still lagging behind the central and western regions of Indonesia, so the need for equity is done as soon as possible. This is in line with how high digital literacy will be directly proportional to support for education and higher economic status.

In Vivi’s perspective, currently there is still a digital literacy gap between urban, rural and 3T areas in Indonesia. There are difficulties in accessing connections in 3T areas, such as uneven internet coverage, more expensive internet costs, resulting in lower access to social media. The digital literacy index in the 3T area is slightly lower than other regions but can excel in digital skills and safety.

The findings in the field that Vivi and Katadata made in the field are how the practice of sharing information on social media, which is widely practiced by the society, has not become a trusted main information reference. Information through conventional media such as television is still the media most trusted by the public. This is related to how hoaxes are often spread on the internet, and even become a serious problem amid the rapid flow of information.

“People’s digital literacy will increase with adequate infrastructure for digital skills, for example, how can we learn without a connection, right? But regarding digital culture, ethics, safety, many parties still need help to help reap the benefits of technology better,” said Vivi.

Anisa Pratita as moderator closed the discussion by concluding how the pandemic is accelerating digital transformation in Indonesia today. This pandemic period can be used to spur the expansion of digitalization in various sectors, of course with the cooperation of various parties.

“Like it or not, during a pandemic we have to accept a series of changes and take advantage of them. The more we come here the pandemic has become more sloping and accepted by the society, while there is an opportunity, we follow this momentum to take full advantage of the maximum possible expansion of the society’s digital literacy,” concluded Anisa.