TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Cellular network operator Telkomsel confirmed that its phone and text messaging services will continue to be available in Papua and West Papua despite the recent internet block in the two provinces.
"Until now access to Telkomsel services in Papua and West Papua Province for voice call and text messages are functioning normally," said Telkomsel's Vice President of Corporate Communication Denny Abidin in a formal statement quoted by Antara on Wednesday, August 21, 2019.
Meanwhile, data access services, pursuant to instructions from the Ministry of Telecommunication and Informatics on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, is temporarily blocked.
Denny added that as a cellular operator, Telkomsel always comply with the regulation set forth by the government and will continue to monitor the quality of its services periodically.
Previously, the Ministry of Telecommunication and Informatics applied a temporary block on data access services in Papua and West Papua starting on August 21, 2019, in an attempt to expedite the restoration of public order and security in the two provinces.
The Ministry explained that the block is necessary because there are so many misleading, hate speech, and provocative contents circulating in Papua and West Papua since Monday, August 19, 2019.
In addition, the block was done in consideration of the unconducive situation in the filed as previously reported by the police and other law enforcement officers. Massive actions leading to riots had even occurred in some cities.
Prior to the block, the Ministry had limited internet access speed (throttling) in response to the riots in Papua. The throttling was done in an attempt to slow down the spreading of hoax contents.