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Indonesia To Set Up Independent Telecom Body By End-April
Mar 12, 2003

The Indonesian government unveiled its plan to set up an independent body to regulate the country's telecommunications industry by the end of April. The plan follows the decision of the government to liberalize the telecommunications sector. The new regulatory body will have broad powers to regulate the industry, including market access and local and long distance phone rates.

Caving in to nationwide protests, the Indonesian government recently suspended a three-year plan, which began last year, to hike call charges by an average 45%. The government expects the new regulatory body will revive the plan to increase charges.The Indonesian parliament has said the body's creation is a condition for the plan to increase call charges to get back on track.

Until now, the government has acted as telecommunications regulator. The Public Telephone provider PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (TLK) is Indonesia's largest fixed lines operator and currently has more than 7.5 million subscribers.

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