Indonesia - Covid-19 Governance: New MOCI Regulations For Telecommunication, Postal And Broadcasting Sectors.

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Indonesia - Telecommunications,

28 May 2020

 

Introduction
 

The Minister of Communications and Informatics (MOCI) has issued four new regulations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. These new regulations concern:

 

  • postponement of payment obligations for certain fees payable to the State by telecommunication network and service providers, postal service providers and broadcasters

 

  • postponement of effectiveness of a MOCI regulation on telecommunication service operations

 

  • several support initiatives for the postal and informatics sectors.

 

Our observations on the new regulations are set out below.

 

Postponement of payment obligations for certain fees

 

On 30 April 2020, MOCI issued Regulation No. 3 of 2020 on Due Date of Universal Postal Services Contribution, Telecommunication Operational Rights Fee, Universal Service Obligation Contribution, and Broadcasting Operational Licence Fee (Reg 3/2020).

 

Telecommunication network and service providers must pay an annual operation rights fee (Biaya Hak Penyelenggaraan or BHP) of 0.5% of gross revenue, and an annual universal service obligation (USO) fee of 1.25% of gross revenue by 30 April 2020. Postal services providers must pay an annual universal postal services contribution of 0.25% of their net revenue after tax by 31 May 2020. Broadcasting companies must pay an annual concession fee, which is scaled according to the type of broadcast, by 30 April 2020.

 

Reg 3/2020 postpones payment of these fees by two months. There is currently no indication whether this payment obligation might be extended further.

 

Postponement of effectiveness of MOCI regulation on telecommunication services operations

 

On 20 April 2020, the MOCI issued Regulation No 2 of 2020 (Reg 2/2020) to delay implementation of Regulation No. 13 of 2019 on Telecommunication Service Operations (Reg 13/2019). Reg 13/2019, which was supposed to come into force on 25 April 2020, will now come into force on 21 January 2021.

 

Regulation 13/2019 makes various changes to the regulatory regime for telecommunication services, including:

 

  • re-categorising types of services
     

  • simplifying the licensing regime
     

  • consolidating various regulations
     

  • clarifying the position on reselling activities
     

  • providing a new deadline for telecommunications companies to commence operations
     

  • imposing sanctions for non-compliance.

 

The postponement of these new measures gives service providers more time to adjust their operations to ensure compliance while grappling with the impact of the pandemic.

 

MOCI initiatives and efforts to handle Covid-19 through support in postal and informatics sectors

 

The MOCI has also issued two decrees responding to Covid-19:

 

  • Decree No. 159 of 2020 regarding Efforts to Handle Covid-19 through Support for the Postal and Informatics Sector (Decree 159)
     

  • Decree No. 171 of 2020 regarding Determination of PEDULILINDUNGI Apps in the Framework of Handling Covid-19 Health Surveillance (Decree 171).
     

Decree 159 provides that telecommunications operators must contribute to and facilitate the government’s efforts to use the telecommunication infrastructure, system and information technology for health surveillance (tracing, tracking and warnings), internet and telecommunication service access, information dissemination, socialisation, and other government efforts.

 

In this regard, the government has collaborated with telecommunication operators to disseminate news on Covid-19 handling through SMS blasts to their customers. The government has also provided free public access to government websites so that visitors no longer have to pay mobile data charges.

 

Broadcasting, online media and other media institutions are also directed to take steps to support the government with respect to information dissemination, socialisation, public service announcements, and other government initiatives.

 

Meanwhile, postal service providers are directed to contribute by implementing health, security and safety standards, prioritising delivery of packages relating to Covid-19, and other government efforts.

 

Decree 171 appoints “PEDULILINDUNGI”, an application developed by state-owned telecom provider PT (Persero) Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk (TELKOM), as the health surveillance monitor for government institutions to manage and track the spread of Covid-19. This app is licensed exclusively to the Indonesian government.

 

 

HBT

 

Sakurayuki, Partner, Hiswara Bunjamin & Tundjang

sakurayuki@hbtlaw.com