Indonesia’s Telkom to unblock Netflix this week: reports

Screen grab showing Netflix’s Bahasa Indonesia user interface.
Screen grab showing Netflix’s Bahasa Indonesia user interface.

The ultimate wish of millions of Netflix-deprived Telkom customers may finally be granted sooner than expected, as the state-owned telco is reportedly set to unblock the streaming giant this week.

A source close to the matter today told local media outlets Kumparan and Kompas that Telkom is officially lifting its Netflix ban in the first week of July. Telkom reportedly reached a decision during a recent meeting between its board of directors.

Since Netflix became available in Indonesia in 2016, the video streaming platform has remained unavailable to a large number of Indonesians — specifically, Telkom customers who subscribe to the company’s home internet service Indihome, mobile internet service Telkomsel, and/or its public Wi-Fi service Wifi.id.

While Telkom said the block was based on censorship grounds, many suspected that it was only trying to protect its own business interests through partner streaming platforms such as Singapore-based Hooq, which was shut down in late April, and KL-based iFlix, which was recently purchased by Chinese internet giant Tencent.

In early June, Telkom CEO Ririek Adiansyah hinted that the unblocking might happen this year.

“If they want to change to be more compliant with the regulations, especially on their content and take-down policy, and also want to empower local content producers then we’re ready to open [access to] Netflix on Indihome and Telkomsel. There has been progress in that direction, we only need to find the juncture,” Ririek said at that time.

Telkomsel CEO Setyanto Hantoro later followed up on Ririek’s statement by saying that Netflix has more or less fulfilled the aforementioned requirements with recent updates to the streaming platform, such as improved parental controls.

Telkomsel first alluded to the possibility of unblocking Netflix last October, when then-CEO Emma Sri Martini said 4 million of the mobile communications company’s customers wanted access to the platform.

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