Indonesia is DDI’s current showcase, and the first country where Meaningful Broadband has been fully embraced by all stakeholders in public-private and academic sectors. It has not only generated the political will that caused the government to establish an Indonesia
Broadband Plan, but the Meaningful Broadband model test-market deployment to the first “Kabupaten” or local districts. To establish the design of the test market activity, the World Bank’s ICT division stepped in to head the technical team. The driver of Meaningful Broadband is the activation of a “sleeping infrastructure” – the underutilized 42,000 kilometer Palapa Ring fiber optic backbone which traverses the archipelago. The World Bank’s contribution was to link the fixed broadband to a Last Mile solution that aimed to establish the first interoperable e-government network, incorporating local schools and health clinics. Beyond this, the Meaningful Broadband conceived a program of Meaningful Use. That concept refers to a device project and also a campaign to elicit massive local content which would generate jobs and revenue for citizens located outside urban zones. The embrace of
Meaningful Broadband did not come suddenly. DDI’s presence in Indonesia began in 2004 at Prof Smith’s seminar at Jakarta’s Harvard Club hosted by Intel Corporation. At this event, Prof Smith began his vital long-term partnership with Pak Ilham A. Habibie, a respected local
business leader and son of the former Indonesian President. Dr. Ilham Habibie later became chairman of Digital Divide Institute- Indonesia, now located within his family’s think tank, called The Habibie Center. The nation’s most powerful leaders signed a Jakarta Declaration for Meaningful Broadband and created a Meaningful Broadband Working Group, overseen from the National Palace. Between 2018 – 2020 Digital Divide Institute developed a major report to Republic of Indonesia that propose a method for aligning universal services funding with test market locations of Meaningful Broadband.