Regulatory and institutional structure

Summarise the regulatory framework for the media sector in your jurisdiction.

Generally, the media sector in Indonesia, consisting of print media, electronic media and internet media, is regulated under Law No. 40 of 1999 regarding Press (the Press Law), the EIT Law and the Broadcasting Law, which specifically regulates the broadcasting of electronic media.

According to the Press Law, the press is a social institution and mass communication forum for journalistic activities. Journalistic activities include searching, obtaining, owning, processing and delivering information, either in writing, voice, picture, picture and voice, as data or graphics, or in other forms via print media, electronic media and other available channels. In light of the important role of the national press as a form of information media, education, entertainment and social control, the delivery of information to the public through the broadcasting media is regulated.

The enactment of the Broadcasting Law does not undermine the regulation of the press under the Press Law. Broadcasting media, and the press, are mutually distinct forms of mass communication. Hence, broadcasting media and the press are regulated separately.

Based on the Broadcasting Law, broadcasting activities are performed by broadcasting institutions, private or public institutions, community broadcasting institutions or customised broadcasting institutions. Under the Broadcasting Law, such institutions are subject to prevailing regulations in performing their duties, functions and responsibilities. The implementation of broadcasting activities shall fall under the jurisdiction of the Directorate General of Provisioning Post and Information Technology of the MCIT, particularly under the Directorate of Broadcasting.

In addition, the performance of broadcasting activities is also regulated by the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI), an independent state institution established under the Broadcasting Law. The KPI is located in central or regional Indonesia as a manifestation of public participation in the broadcasting area.

The MCIT and the KPI have issued several implementing regulations as guidance for broadcasting institutions to comply with their obligations under Indonesian broadcasting regulations.

The MCIT has issued Regulation No. 32 of 2013, which was later amended by MCIT Regulation No. 26 of 2014 on the Operation of Digital Television Broadcasting and Multiplexing Broadcasting through Terrestrial System (the Digital TV Broadcast Regulation) dated 27 December 2013, to increase the reception quality of television broadcast programmes through the implementation of digital terrestrial television.

Ownership restrictions

Do any foreign ownership restrictions apply to media services? Is the ownership or control of broadcasters otherwise restricted? Are there any regulations in relation to the cross-ownership of media companies, including radio, television and newspapers?

Yes, the restriction of foreign ownership applies to media services according to the Negative List of Investment. Based on the Negative List of Investment, new private radio broadcasting that falls under Indonesian Standard Classification (KBLI) No. 60102, and any new private television broadcasting falling under KBLI No. 60202, are prohibited from having foreign ownership.

However, in line with Government Regulation No. 50 of 2005 regarding the Broadcasting Operation of Private Broadcasting Institution (the PBI Regulation), the Negative List provides an exemption for existing private broadcasting institutions. Provided the institution was established by a local entity, existing private broadcasting institutions are allowed to increase and develop foreign shareholdings for adding and expanding businesses on the following conditions:

  • the foreign shareholding shall not exceed 20 per cent of its total issued and paid-up capital;
  • there must at least be two shareholders; and
  • the increase of capital through foreign direct investment can only be implemented after the broadcasting trial period has ended and the permanent licence for broadcasting operation has been obtained, which is at least within one year for television broadcasts and six months for radio broadcasts.

With respect to foreign ownership restrictions for newspaper media, based on the current Negative List of Investment, the business activity of newspaper media falling under KBLI No. 58130, namely the press company that is closed for foreign ownership.

Further, based on the PBI Regulation, the cross-ownership between private broadcasting institutions, printed media companies and subscribed broadcasting institutions, directly and indirectly, is restricted as follows:

  • one private broadcasting institution of radio broadcasting services and one subscribed broadcasting institutions with one printed media company in the same region;
  • one private broadcasting institution of television broadcasting services and one subscribed broadcasting institution with one printed media company in the same region; or
  • one private broadcasting institution of radio broadcasting services and one private broadcasting institution of television broadcasting services with one subscribed broadcasting institution in the same region.
Licensing requirements

What are the licensing requirements for broadcasting, including the fees payable and the timescale for the necessary authorisations?

Pursuant to the Broadcasting Law, a broadcasting institution must obtain broadcasting operation licences prior to conducting broadcasting activities. The application for obtaining the broadcasting operation licences shall be submitted to the MCIT’s online licensing system, which will be assessed by the Directorate General of Provisioning Post and Informatics, Directorate of Broadcasting and KPI/Regional KPI. The MCIT will then issue a decision to approve or reject the application. The broadcasting operational licence takes at least six months for radio broadcasting and one year for television broadcasting, as of complete submissions.

The validity period of the broadcasting operational licence is: five years for the radio broadcasting operational licence; and 10 years for the television broadcasting operational licence.

The fees payable for obtaining the broadcasting operational licence comprise:

  • the broadcasting operational licence fee, consisting of the fee for obtaining:
    • the principal licence (for conducting trial broadcast);
    • the permanent broadcasting licence; and
    • the extension thereof. The amount of the fee varies depending on the type of licence (ie, for radio or television broadcasting, whether principal, permanent or extension licence) and the broadcast area or zone; and
  • the frequency spectrum utilisation fee, which is determined based on certain formulae comprising various components, among others, transmitting power (and its basic price and cost index), bandwidth (and its basic price and cost index) and zone.
Foreign programmes and local content requirements

Are there any regulations concerning the broadcasting of foreign-produced programmes? Do the rules require a minimum amount of local content? What types of media fall outside this regime?

According to the PBI Regulation, the content of the television broadcast performed by the private broadcasting institution must contain domestic programmes for at least 60 per cent of the total daily broadcast duration.

The PBI Regulation further provides that the private broadcasting institution can relay the broadcast of other broadcasting institutions. This may be relayed from domestic broadcasting institutions or foreign broadcasting institutions, in the form of regular or irregular programme broadcast relay. The duration of the broadcast relay for regular programmes originating from abroad is restricted to a maximum of 5 per cent for radio broadcasts, and 10 per cent for television broadcasts, of the total daily broadcast duration. An exception exists for internationalised sport programmes that require time extensions. The total number of broadcast relay programmes for regular programmes originating from abroad is restricted to a maximum of 10 per cent for radio broadcasts, and 20 per cent for television broadcasts, of the total programmes broadcast daily.

According to the PBI Regulation, the private broadcasting institution is prohibited from relaying the broadcast of regular programmes originating from a foreign broadcasting institution covering the following types of programmes: news; music programmes with inappropriate content; and violent sport programmes.

Foreign language programmes can be broadcasted in that language. For television broadcasts, the Indonesian text must be provided or, otherwise, the programme may be selectively dubbed into Indonesian.

KPI Regulation No. 02/P/KPI/03/2012 on the Broadcasting Programme Standard (the Broadcasting Standard) further provides that foreign broadcast programmes may be broadcast provided that they do not exceed 30 per cent of the daily broadcasting duration.

For subscribed broadcasting institutions, Government Regulation No. 52 of 2005 concerning Broadcasting Operation of Subscribed Broadcasting Institutions requires it to provide at least one domestically produced programme channel for every 10 foreign-produced programme channels.

As the Broadcasting Law and its implementing regulations only regulate the broadcasting of television and radio, other types of media (eg, online, mobile content) fall outside this regime.


How is broadcast media advertising regulated? Is online advertising subject to the same regulation?

In general, various aspects of advertising via the broadcast media are regulated by the Broadcasting Law, Law No. 44 of 2008 concerning Pornography (the Pornography Law) and the Indonesian Criminal Code. More specifically, broadcasting media advertising is also subject to the provisions stipulated in the Indonesian Advertising Ethics Rules issued by the Indonesian Advertising Council, requirements issued by the KPI, and other related regulations. The content of broadcast media advertising shall become the responsibility of the broadcasting institutions.

Pursuant to the Broadcasting Law, the duration of the commercial advertising for a private broadcasting institution is limited to a maximum of 20 per cent of the total daily broadcasting duration. At least 10 per cent of the commercial advertising duration shall be allocated to social community service advertising.

The Broadcasting Law further prohibits:

  • the promotion of religious teaching, ideology, persons or groups, that offends the feelings or degrades any other religion, ideology, person or group;
  • the promotion of liquor or the like and any addictive substances or materials;
  • the promotion of cigarettes that shows the physical form of cigarettes;
  • any other matter that is against propriety, morality or religious values; and
  • exploitation of children under 18 years old.

Online advertising is not regulated by the Broadcasting Law. It is specifically regulated in the Indonesian Advertising Ethic Rules and is subject to the EIT Law, the Pornography Law and the Indonesian Criminal Code.

Must-carry obligations

Are there regulations specifying a basic package of programmes that must be carried by operators’ broadcasting distribution networks? Is there a mechanism for financing the costs of such obligations?

The Broadcasting Standard provides that local broadcast programmes must be produced and shown for at least 10 per cent of the daily networked broadcast duration for television, and 60 per cent of the daily duration for radio. In addition, 30 per cent of such local broadcast programme must be shown at prime time. Gradually, the local broadcast programming for television must be increased to at least 50 per cent of the daily networked broadcast duration.

There are no regulations yet that regulate the mechanisms for financing the cost of such obligations.

Regulation of new media content

Is new media content and its delivery regulated differently from traditional broadcast media? How?

New media content, and its delivery, is regulated differently from the traditional broadcast media insofar as new media takes the form of electronic information. New media in electronic form is subject to the EIT Law and its implementing regulations, instead of the Broadcasting Law.

There are no regulations yet that specifically refer to the term ‘new media’. Nevertheless, the term ‘new media’ is defined by the Indonesian Advertising Ethics Rules as non-conventional communication channels that electronically convey advertising messages in the form of text, marks, images or its guidelines, either online or offline, with or without the premium price charges. It involves internet access service providers, internet content hosts, content developers, ASP aggregators, link providers and telecommunications companies. New media can be in the form of a banner, a bulk email list, contextual search, email marketing, link exchange, pay per-click, SMS, MMS, etc.

The Indonesian Advertising Ethics Rules provide the following rules regarding advertisement on the internet:

  • advertisements cannot be displayed in such a way that disrupts the audience’s ability or flexibility to browse and interact with the related websites, unless prior warning has been given;
  • advertisements must clearly specify the following:
    • the reason why the recipient has been sent the advertisements;
    • clear and easy guidelines on the means for opting out of receiving the advertisements from the same address or party;
    • the complete address of the advertisements’ sender; and
    • the guarantee of rights and privacy of the advertisements’ recipients;
  • online or interactive ads; and
  • advertisements that offer a product through certain online or interactive media, shall comply with the following:
    • advertisements do not solicit more information from the audience than is necessary to complete the sale or purchase transaction for the advertised product;
    • advertisements do not use information about the audience for things that are unrelated to a normal transaction; and
    • advertisements ensure that the method of payment that applies to the purchaser is safe from interception or misuse by any party.

In this instance, on the internet-based digital media sector, social media, websites, the MCIT is actively requiring the digital media operator to conduct content filtering. MCIT regulation No. 19 of 2014 on the Management of Internet Sites with Negative Content (Regulation 19/2014), stipulates that internet sites with negative content as websites containing pornography and other illegal activities based on the laws and regulations as determined by sectoral institutions (ie, government ministries or authorised government institutions).

In this instance, there are two types of negative content management efforts that are implemented by the MCIT:

  • negative content in domain name sites - the MCIT maintains a list of websites with negative content, called ‘TRUST+Positif’. All internet service providers must block the access to websites that are included in the TRUST+Positif; and
  • negative content in non-domain-name sites - the Directorate General of Application and Informatics (DGAI) is authorised to submit a request to the website operator or owner to block or delete negative content in non-domain-name sites. The DGAI may request the website operator or the owner to block or remove the negative content (if the sites are in the non-domain-name sites), or the ‘Take Down Request’ (TDR). In urgent condition, the DGAI may place the site address in ‘TRUST+Positif’ list within the 12-24 hour as of receiving the complaint report (depending on whether the complaint was submitted by the society, ministry, institution or law enforcement institution or judiciary institution) and communication with the ISP will be conducted.
Digital switchover

When is the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting required or when did it occur? How will radio frequencies freed up by the switchover be reallocated?

The Digital TV Broadcast Regulation replaces MCIT Regulation No. 22/PER/M.KOMINFO/11/2011 (Regulation No. 22/2011), which was revoked by the Supreme Court Regulation No. 22/2011, concerning the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting. Unlike Regulation No. 22/2011, which required the shutdown of the analogue television broadcast (analogue switch-off (ASO)) after the end of the simulcast period (the transition period where the analogue and digital television are broadcasted simultaneously), the Digital TV Broadcast Regulation does not stipulate the expiry of the simulcast broadcast period and the implementation of ASO. Consequently, it leaves open the possibility that some analogue television broadcasts may continue to operate after the simulcast broadcast period ends. Initially, the radio frequencies freed up by the switchover from analogue to digital are planned to be used by or allocated to the mobile broadband operation. The issuance of the Digital TV Broadcast Regulation may create uncertainty over the time frame for the completion of the initial plan for mobile broadband implementation.

Based on the MCIT press release of No. 42/HM/KOMINFO/06/2016, the non-commercial digital TV terrestrial broadcasting trial would be conducted by a number of content providers for six-month period. According to the news, the trial has been extended for a year. However, currently there is no further update on the development of non-commercial digital TV terrestrial broadcasting.

Digital formats

Does regulation restrict how broadcasters can use their spectrum?

MCIT Regulation No. 23/PER/M.KOMINFO/11/2011 as amended by No. 8 of 2013 on the Masterplan on Radio Frequency for the Purpose of Terrestrial Digital TV Broadcast on 478-694MHz Radio Frequency Band (the Masterplan) states that the radio frequency band for the Terrestrial Digital TV Broadcast is 478-694MHz, which is divided into: 478-526MHz for the terrestrial digital TV broadcast to be further regulated; and 526-694MHz for the free-to-air digital terrestrial TV broadcast (FTA). MCIT Regulation No. 5/PER/M.KOMINFO/2/2012 on FTA Standard stipulates that the FTA standard in Indonesia is digital video broadcasting - terrestrial second generation (DVB-T2).

The Masterplan further provides that every radio frequency used for FTA purposes shall fulfil the following technical requirements:

  • bandwidth to be used per channel is 8MHz;
  • protection ratio for co-channel is 20dB;
  • adjacent channel for both lower adjacent channel and upper adjacent channel is -30dB; and
  • field strength on the location of the test or measurement point in every service area is restricted to a maximum of 42.6db|uV/m.

Further, the Digital TV Broadcast Regulation provides that the private broadcasting institutions operating the multiplexing broadcast through the terrestrial system may use the single frequency network method in accordance with the radio frequency allocation in every broadcast service region. This provision aims to improve the quality of broadcast reception.

Media plurality

Is there any process for assessing or regulating media plurality (or a similar concept) in your jurisdiction? May the authorities require companies to take any steps as a result of such an assessment?

The Broadcasting Law requires that the content of broadcasts contains information, education, entertainment and benefit to the formation of intellectual, character morals and advancement. Broadcasts must also promote the nation’s strength, maintain unity and oneness, and apply Indonesian religious and cultural values.

KPI Regulation No. 01/P/KPI/03/2012 on Broadcasting Behaviour Guidelines (the Broadcasting Guidelines) directs broadcasting institutions to, among other things, respect and honour Indonesia’s norms, religious values and multiculturalism. The Broadcasting Guidelines and the Broadcasting Standard further require broadcasting institutions and programmes to respect ethnicity, religion, race and intergroup differences. This includes diversity of culture, age, gender and economic or social life. The regulations also prohibit broadcasters from showing programmes that lower, humiliate or cause conflict among different ethnic, religious, race or interracial groups. This includes groups based on diversity of culture, age, gender or economic social life.

The Broadcasting Standard provides the process for assessing or regulating media plurality in Indonesia. Broadcast content is supervised and assessed by the KPI. The KPI has the authority to perform research, make assessments and impose administrative sanctions. The administrative sanctions that may be imposed by the KPI are:

  • a written reprimand;
  • temporary cessation of the problematic programme after going through a certain procedure;
  • limiting the broadcast duration and time;
  • an administrative fine;
  • freezing broadcasting activities for a certain period;
  • refusal to approve the extension of the broadcasting operation licence;
  • revocation of the broadcasting operational licence; and
  • ordering the broadcasting institution to broadcast and issue a statement if a complaint by a person or group regarding any violation to the Broadcasting Standard and Guidelines is proven to be true.

Currently, the MCIT is intensively monitoring digital content that is distributed via the internet on various platforms. The MCIT is actively requesting digital media operators to take down negative contents by issuing TDRs to the digital media operators. Contents that are often being requested to be taken down include pornography, distribution of hoax or fake news, hate speech, defamation, indecency, radicalism and terrorism. There are several cases where the MCIT has decided to block access to the platform due to non-compliance with the TDR, such as due to terrorism content (Telegram), and due to pornography and indecency content (Tumblr, Bigo, Tiktok and Vimeo).

Key trends and expected changes

Provide a summary of key emerging trends and hot topics in media regulation in your country.

Recently, the hottest topic in media regulation in Indonesia has been the distribution of hoax news and hate-speech content in social media. Considering the ease of social media access, hoax news and hate-speech content distribution and circulation is recently common, especially in connection with the Presidential election that was completed in April 2019. Further, the distribution of hoax news and hate-speech content has become a significant issue and made it into the headlines, as many Indonesian people tend to directly believe any information distributed via the internet without further verification.

As a preliminary precaution, the government has made an amendment to the EIT Law, which includes a prohibition on the distribution of hoax news and hate-speech content, whereby the violation to such prohibition is subject to the criminal sanction of a maximum six-year imprisonment or penalty or a fine of a maximum 1 billion rupiah. In practice, there are a great number of recent cases regarding the enforcement of this provision whereby people are being reported to the police for distributing hate-speech content through social media (eg, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

Currently, the government, which is initiated by the MCIT, is planning to issue a new Data Protection Law, which will be considered as the fundamental basis of data protection in Indonesia. Based on the currently available bill, we note several significant provisions, in comparison to the currently available regulation (ie, Regulation No. 20/2016):

  • categorisation of personal data into general personal data and specific personal data;
  • differentiation of personal data processor and personal data controller;
  • rights of the personal data owner to withdraw his or her consent;
  • rights of the personal data owner to submit objections to automated monitoring;
  • restriction on visual data processing devices;
  • requirements on personal data transfer in the event of acquisition, merger, split-off and consolidation; and
  • establishment of the Personal Data Management Commission.

The bill is currently under intensive review and discussion at the MCIT, and there is no specific information on when the bill will be enacted as a law. We expect that the enactment of the bill as a law will impact many electronic system operators in Indonesia, as the law demands strict compliance and requirements, to reach the purpose of the law, which is full protection towards personal data and data sovereignty.