Representatives from creative economy agency (BEKRAF) and Ministry of Communications and Informatics attended the launch of the APJII report. Image Credit: DailySocial

The Association for Internet Service Provider in Indonesia (APJII) revealed that internet penetration in the country’s rural areas remains low, and is a “homework” that stakeholders need to “work together on.”

From a 2017 survey results that the association had published, internet user penetration on city or regency level are concentrated in urban (72.41 per cent), rural-urban (49.4 per cent), and rural (48.25 per cent) areas. The high number of internet penetration in the area is inferred from the availability of optical fiber and other internet services supporting infrastructure.

The result of this survey is strongly related to the total number of internet user penetration in Indonesia, which experienced a slight growth of eight per cent from 132.7 million to 143.26 million, the equal of 54.68 per cent of its 262 million population.

According to the association, the narrow growth was caused by the slowing internet penetration growth in urban area, as infrastructural support improved. But the situation in rural-urban and urban areas could not be more different.

However, APJII remains confident that the quality of internet services will continue to improve with the government’s ongoing Palapa Ring satellite project. The project is a beacon of hope for a more wide-spread internet penetration across the country.

“High growth in urban areas is due to its well-rounded infrastructure, leading to a high quality [internet service]. But there is an urgency to improve [the infrastructure] in rural areas,” APJII Secretary General Henri Kasyfi explained on Monday, February 19.

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The device that is widely used to access internet is the smartphone. In the urban area, smartphone ownership reaches 70.96 per cent, with 45.42 per cent in the rural-urban areas and 42.06 per cent in rural areas. Desktop computers tend to have lesser usage with 31.55 per cent in urban areas, 23.42 per cent in rural-urban, and 23.83 per cent in rural areas.

Looking at the composition on internet user distribution, Java island continues to dominate with 58.08 per cent, followed by Sumatra (19.09 per cent), Borneo (7.97 per cent), Celebes (6.73 per cent), Bali-Nusa Tenggara (5.63 per cent), and Moluccas-Papua (2.49 per cent).

Meanwhile, based on their ages, users aged 19-34 years old are the greatest contributors with 49.52 per cent, followed by 35-54 years old (29.55 per cent), 13-18 years old (16.68 per cent), and beyond 54 years old (4.24 per cent). Based on gender, the user base is dominated by men (51.43 per cent) with women making up 48.57 per cent of them.

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User behaviour

Another interesting take-away from the report is the duration of daily internet usage, led by one to three hours (43.89 per cent), followed by four to seven hours (29.63 per cent) and more than seven hours (26.48 per cent).

The type of services that are most popular are chat apps (89.35 per cent), social media (87.13 per cent), search engine (74.84 per cent), image searches (72.79 per cent), watching video (69.64 per cent), and many more. The lowest number belongs to banking activities (7.39 per cent).

The low number of banking apps usage, according to APJII, is due to security concerns among internet users. Respondents statedt that they are aware of the possibilities for their data to be taken (65.98 per cent), and the existence of online scams (83.98 per cent).

Respondents felt that it is important for them (61.38 per cent) to maintain confidentiality of their device and install anti-virus (58.52 per cent).

On business and commerce-related activities, APJII revealed that most users are comparing prices (45.14 per cent), doing job-related tasks (41.04 per cent), obtaining buyers’ information (37.82 per cent), online shopping (32.19 per cent), with the smallest percentage being selling goods online (16.83 per cent).

Indonesian internet users also have low interest in using locally made apps. The majority of respondents claimed that they rarily (56.79 per cent) used them, with only 23.46 per cent using them often. Even 14.2 per cent claimed that they have never used them.

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Using different sampling techniques

For this survey, APJII gathered 2,500 respondents, a bigger number from the previous report of 1,250 respondents. The team utilised multi-stage cluster sampling method and gathered data through the use of questionnaire and interviews.

With this new sampling method, APJII aims to understand more about internet penetration based on the regions users are based in, as compared to the previous report which used probability sampling area method based on provincial level analytics.

“With this survey, we are able to zoom in on issues faced by each region. Based on the survey results, it is clear that the rural areas would require special intervention,” Kasyfi said.

To find out more details about the survey results, you can download the full report here.

The article APJII: Penetrasi Pengguna Internet Indonesia Capai 143 Juta Orang was written by Marsya Nabila for DailySocial. English translation and editing by e27.