In addition to giving the keynote at the OECD/infoDev workshop on the Budget Telecom Network Mode at the IGF in Sharm el Sheikh, I attended several sessions, one being that on reducing interconnection costs. The key recommendations seemed to cluster around two actions, creating Internet Exchanges in each country and reducing leased line costs by introducing competition and breaking incumbent control on essential facilities such as cable stations. Our findings from countries that have had working Internet Exchanges at various times such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka show that their effects fluctuate (there is an unfortunate tendency of internal dissension in these things) and that getting leased line prices (both domestic and international) down is, on balance, more important. That unless the leased-line problem is not solved, the good work done on Internet Exchanges will be washed out. There is an assumption that every country should have an IX.
The Indonesian government imposed unreasonable burdens on the new entrant for international service in a recently issued White Paper 140. LIRNEasia highlighted the unfairness of burdening new entrants with obligations that the two existing incumbents (Telkom & Indosat) were not subjected too in comments it submitted to DGPOSTEL (one of the two regulatory bodies): 4.4 The Indonesian policymakers may have misunderstood the concept of asymmetric regulation. Asymmetric rules place additional burdens on dominant group of providers that other operators are not subjected to. In the current White Paper, many additional burdens are imposed on the new entrant that are not imposed on the two incumbents, PT Telkom & PT Indosat.
Divakar presents findings of his study that assesses the success of WiFi based expansion of Internet access and identifies the conditions that gave rise to this innovation in Indonesia. DG: Indonesia is a challenging country to connect. 17000 islands. teledensity is 12%, compares poorly with its neighbors. Internet penetration is far lower than Asian average.