Telkom to finally unblock Netflix? CEO says it could happen ‘soon’

Photo: via Unsplash
Photo: via Unsplash

With some of us here in Indonesia unable to access Netflix due to the service being blocked by state-owned telco Telkom, better days are maybe ahead as both companies are reportedly getting closer to an agreement that could potentially see Telkom lift its block on the streaming giant. 

Telkom CEO Ririek Adiansyah confirmed the latest developments today, and said that the unblocking might happen this year or “as soon as possible.”

“If they want to change to be more compliant with the regulations, especially on their contents 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.

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

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 shut down in late April.

Hopefully, Telkom can make Netflix available to their customers this year, especially now that staying at home is recommended as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic. In October of last year, Telkomsel’s former CEO Emma Sri Martini said that Netflix could soon be open to all Telkomsel customers, citing the demands of their users for access to the streaming platform.

The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) said in March of last year that it was contemplating launching an investigation into a possible breach of fair business practice on the part of Telkom, but there has been no update on its progress since.

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