Internet Kampung: Community-based Internet in Post-Suharto Indonesia
In the shifting terrain of Indonesian internet infrastructure—which has temporally followed the transition from an autocratic regime bent on censoring information access to a democratic government that seeks to accommodate universal access (but without much success)—a new, typically grassroots, internet access model has emerged. The author calls this the “internet kampung.” In 2010, an urban neighborhood in Yogyakarta began to make headlines for its innovative appropriation of the internet for local development. At a time when Indonesia had an internet penetration rate of about 10 percent, totaling around twenty-five million users, this neighborhood, which became known as “Kampoeng Cyber,” boasted to local media that more than 80 percent of its houses were connected. Since that time, local and national media have been enamored with the story of the lower-middle class neighborhood that reportedly overcame obstacles to its socioeconomic development by saturating the neighborhood with internet access. Kampoeng Cyber residents adopted new technologies while proudly maintaining a strong sense of Javanese community sustained by their collective values of kebersamaan (togetherness), gotong royong (working together), and rukun (harmony). By representing themselves as technologically savvy, yet traditionally community-oriented, internet kampungs like this can successfully adapt to the recent neoliberal culture of governance.
Volume & Issue:
Page range: 97-125
Cornell University Southeast Asia Program