A group of seven Indonesian telecoms operators plan to build a USD1.5 billion national fibre-optic network to alleviate the country’s overloaded telecoms infrastructure and improve access in remote regions, writes the Financial Times. The paper says the companies will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Palapa Ring project today, which will see the roll out of 57,000km of cables across all 440 districts over the next two years. The Palapa Ring is designed to redress the lack of high quality internet access in Indonesia. Less than 10% of the population use the internet on a regular basis, and only 3% have broadband. The new fibre network is expected to benefit a host of business and residential users once it is complete. Indonesia’s dominant telecoms operator Telkom is taking a 45% stake in the consortium handling the project. Other shareholders are Bakrie Telecom, Excelcomindo Pratama, Indosat, Powertek Utama Internusa and Macca System Infocom, each with a 10% interest, and Infokom Elektrindo (5%).