A Level Playing Field

Government to release 'over-the-top' regulation this year: minister

By Tabita Diela
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Indonesian government will release a ministerial regulation on over-the-top services this year to set a level playing field for local and international online messaging service providers, Information and Communications Minister Rudiantara said on Tuesday (26/09).

Over-the-top (OTT) services are services accessed by consumers over a network which allow them to access videos on demand, make calls and send messages.

OTT services include WhatsApp and other messaging services like Line, Skype, WeChat and Google's Hangout. All of them offer "free" messaging, voice and video call services.

"We hope to have a regulation on OTT services by the end of this year," Minister Rudiantara said in a statement.

"OTT service providers must comply with our regulation. They have to provide customer service, they will have their rights and obligations, and be taxed," Rudiantara said.

The upcoming regulation will likely include restrictions on content delivered over OTT services, which will force the providers to filter content deemed "negative" by the ministry — including terrorism, pornography and radical propaganda.

Rudiantara's comment came during a Ministers' Roundtable session at the International Telecommunication Union Telecom World 2017 seminar.

The event, held in Busan, South Korea, on Sept. 25-28, brought together representatives from public and private companies around the world to showcase their IT-related products and innovations.

During his visit to Busan, the minister also met with 40 Korean business representatives on Tuesday and presented the keynote speech on the first day of ITU Telecom World on Monday.

This article first appeared on the Jakarta Globe website on September 27, 2017.

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