application of communications satellite in developing countries: The case of Indonesia
Description The general goal of this dissertation is to shed some light on the involvement of developing countries in communications satellite activities. The specific aims are: (1) to investigate predominant factors that have made Indonesia the first developing country to acquire its own domestic communications satellite, PALAPA; (2) to discuss the decision making and implementations processes of both international and domestic communications satellite systems in Indonesia: and (3) to analyze the applications and the implications of this sophisticated technology in Indonesia. To put the analysis in its proper perspective, a review of the historical development, present global status, and the basic technological principles of the communications satellite is provided. And using contextual analysis, the political, economic, technological, and socio-cultural factors that appear to have influenced the implementation and applications of the technology are discussed. The study is founded on the base of a large and varied collection of resources, including reports, newspaper and magazine articles, Indonesian parliamentary hearings, personal interviews, archives materials, governmental and non-governmental documents and data which mostly heretofore had not been used in scholarly research. The study shows that the degree of involvement of developing countries in communications satellite activities is determined by three conditions: the availability and accessibility of the technology, the suitability of the technology with the country's particular needs and conditions, and the existence of supportive external and internal factors and actors. While the external economic factors and actors were found to be dominant in the applications of the communications satellite for international communications in Indonesia, the internal political factors and actors were found to be more determinant in its domestic communications. The research finds that the satellite PALAPA was established and has been used predominantly for national integration, revenue-earning point-to-point telecommunications, national television, and the armed forces network in Indonesia. The challenge now is to increase the utilization of this technology for community development--e.g., education, health, agricultural extension--to benefit the underprivileged segments of the society.
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