Discussion of the paper to be presented by Divakar Goswami at the Digital Opportunity Forum, South Korea on August 30, 2006.
The DOI measures the magnitude of the digital divide in a country, and uses the percentage of population covered by mobile cellular telephony, internet access tariffs and mobile cellular tariffs as a percentage of per capita income, proportion of households with fixed telephone, computer, internet access at home, etc to measure digital divide.
Measuring the DOI in Indonesia was carried out as part of the six-country study LIRNEasia is currently undertaking, and it was found that there is a significant variance from what was calculated by LIRNEasia and the figures calculated by the ITU.
Some methodological issues with the DOI – no common methodology that operators follow with regard to population coverage. Population coverage claims by operators cannot be verified. There is also a need for a better indicator for mobile coverage. Another problem is that the OECD low user basket has little relevance for developing countries where use is generally have higher average use. Lastly, there is a need for a common definition of a mobile subscriber.
Data issues faced included lack of coordination between NRAs and NSOs and lack of household level data like ownership of fixed phones, PC and Internet access.
Looking at telecom growth of different infrastructure in Indonesia, tells that internet growth has been pretty flat. Fixed wireless has seen a slight growth with the entrance of XXX in Indonesia. The mobile market, on the other hand, has seen continuous significant growth.
Indonesia is very low on the DOI list – it is in the cusp of the low group.
Three ways in which Indonesia can improve its DOI rating is through opportunity (by extending mobile coverage using USF; lowering prices by stimulating competition, etc), infrastructure (introduce new entrants in the fixed sector) and utilization (unbundling local loop to stimulate broadband rollout, etc).