Indonesia’s ICT penetration has been interesting lately. The unique challenges faced by the country such as the area width, density of people, and people’s education level has contributed to this. PewResearchCenter recently published findings of a survey that revealed that only 24 per cent of the Indonesian population has connected to Internet (at least once in their life), and only 15 per cent possess at least one smartphone.
The survey was conducted between April-May 2014 with Indonesians aged above 18 years.
In the midst of government attempts in fixing the broadband network quality in Indonesia, the issue of equality is a concern. The government even expects to be the second best in Southeast Asia, although, in reality, most of the Internet access is still derived from big cities.
This data by Pew proves that not all Indonesians enjoy Internet access. Malaysians and Thais are much better with 55 and 45 per cent Internet users respectively.
The demography of Indonesian Internet users is dominated by people aged 18-34 years, at least junior high school graduates, and who understand English quite well.
Most of them access Internet to keep in touch with their families and friends, as well as collect latest news on politics, health, and governmental services. Only 37 per cent of them utilise Internet to apply for jobs, six per cent to pay and receive payments, while nine per cent conduct online shopping.
Unfortunately, only three per cent of the population utilises Internet for educational purposes, while 22 per cent in India and 15 per cent in China use Internet to learn something.
Pew also revealed that only 15 per cent of Indonesians possess at least one smartphone, while 63 per cent use feature phone and 22 per cent have none. No wonder smartphone vendors are racing to conquer the remaining untouched population.
The high cost of smartphone and Internet is one of the most underlying causes of low adoption. Moreover, the low level of education also contributes to the situation. Therefore, there is a need for co-operation from all related parties to resolve the problem and enable more Indonesians to enjoy the benefits of the Internet.
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