The Jakarta Post writes that the government of Indonesia will soon begin the process of selecting telecoms operators to build out base transceiver stations (BTS) connecting villages located along the country’s borders later this year. Communications and information minister Rudiantara confirmed that by late-2015 or early-2016, the building of the new BTS will begin, noting that his office has signed memorandums of understanding (MoU) with the administrations of East, North and West Kalimantan, whose villages have been chosen for pilot projects of the ministry’s telecom facilities project. ‘We will choose operators that offer the smallest subsidies,’ he told the newspaper.
All told, the ministry is investing IDR3 trillion (USD224.2 million) on telecoms facilities located along 50 border locations as part of the National Agency for Border Management (BNPP’s) Borderland Integrated Development Program (Gerbangdutas). The ministry aims to complete the project by 2018 and connect all cities and regencies in Indonesia through fibre-optic cable, focusing on remote areas where unassisted commercial services are not economically feasible. To attract telecom companies to invest in border areas, the government will provide subsidies taken from the universal service obligation (USO) fund, he said.