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IT Assistance in Aceh

My friend Idris Suleiman is one of Indonesia’s leading IT policy experts. Generally he’s helping advise the Indonesian government and foreign donors on how Indonesia should structure its communication laws to help the country be open and competitive on the Internet. (He and I know each other from working together with USAID in Jakarta) But natural disasters have a way of changing things, and Idris finds himself helping to organize a major communications-centered relief effort in Aceh, Indonesia.

Medical and relief efforts in Aceh are suffering from lack of coordination and communication – Aceh’s communications infrastructure was weak to begin with from long-term civil conflict, and that infrastructure is strained to the breaking point by the relief efforts. Idris and his organization, the Aceh-IT/Media Center is using terrestrial wireless and satellite networks to provide communications to relief workers and to make the situation in Aceh more accessible to global media.

Like everyone else working on tsunami relief, Idris’s group needs money. But they also need donated technical stuff (the sort of stuff many geeks might have rattling around in their back closets). Please take a look at the bulletin Idris has issued (reproduced in full below) – if there’s something you can help out with, please get in touch with me at ethanz AT gmail.com – I’m going to try to assemble a package and send it out through a US volunteer who is heading over to Aceh shortly. (If you’re in the US or Canada, sending gear through me is probably going to be cheaper and faster than sending it directly to Jakarta – if you’re in Europe, that may not be the case.) Ditto for financial contributions – if there’s demand, I’ll set up a PayPal account and take care of the bank wire to get the funds to Idris and his crew.

(I suspect the goods people are most likely able to donate might be used laptops – I’m in the middle of an email exchange with Idris right now to figure out what level of laptops are useful and which are not worth shipping – I’ll post more about that when info comes in…)




Dear Concerned Colleagues and Friends,

We wish you a Happy New Year 2005 and the vision to dream, the heart to

care and the spirit to embrace all the beauty and tackle the challenges

to come.

Despite the devastating Asian Tsunami, we are witnessing an amazing

generosity of spirit and action from around the world to provide

assistance for the massive relief operation in many places hit by the

worst world’s disaster in peace time. There is little doubt that the

West Coast of Aceh, Indonesia was one of the hardest hit areas.

Responding to our request for assistance to set up the IT-Media Center

in Aceh/Indonesia, the IITF has received a lot of emails and inquiries

from various organizations and individuals from Malaysia, Korea, Japan,

the United States, Barbados, Spain, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Belgium,

Sweden, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Australia and others, not to

mention, countless calls and pledges of support from Indonesia itself.

This email contains a situation report and our current list of priority


SITUATION REPORT – Sporadic relief effort in Aceh due to a lack of

coordination due to poor logistics, poor telecommunications

infrastructure and unclear command structure

According to Bisnis Indonesia (31/12/05, Banda Aceh): Recovery and

medical relief effort in Banda Aceh is hampered by the lack of

coordination in the medical relief effort. According to Mr. Budhi

Sardjana, the coordinator of the medical teams at four hospitals, the

lack of telecommunications infrastructure is making the job of

coordinating the field teams and the Humanitarian Coordinating Center.

The government is having some difficulties in facilitating the

volunteers to get the worst affected areas because of the limited

transport and other resources. Therefore, IITF would prioritize

facilitating the free flow of information to support the relief effort

through our website (http:://www.acehmediacenter.or.id) and the setting

up of our IT-media center in Banda Aceh.

Today, on 1 January, the coordination effort appears to be gathering

pace with the arrival of Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

(SBY) in Banda Aceh. Our remaining four members of the IITF Team were

able to fly with his entourage this morning and are now in the BRI

Building. Our aim is to set up a Network Operating Center (NOC) in Banda

Aceh and an IT-Media Center there first. Then we plan to set up such

Centers in five other locations.


(1) LIVING EXPENSES: We seek urgent assistance in funding to support the

daily expenses of relief operation of a team of 6 people now in Banda

Aceh for a period of three months. Each person is calculated to require

about US$30-40 per day but there are also .


The following list is the list of equipment needed for one IT-Media

Center which is based on the one we are setting up in Banda Aceh. We are

planning at least five other centers across the province.

– 10-20 Notebook/Portable Computers

– 2 Global Positioning System (Compas, Altimeter, Barometer)

– Electricity Generator, batteries AA-size rechargeable for Handy Talky

VHF radio

and the battery chargers (60 rechargable batteries and the battery


– Satellite Phone – Ericsson (5-10 units)

– Handy Talkies, with long-range capacity (5-10 units)

– Cable RG8 VHF (for transmission radio/HT) minimum 30 meters, with


– Power supply minimal 30A, 12 volt DC

– Repeater VHF with duplexer and antena omni-directional high gain


– VSWR meter VHF/UHF

– HT VHF duplex mode and tone control

– Antennae HT mobile/for cars VHF and bracket + cable

– A pair of GHDSL modems (point to point mode)

– Converter DC to AC 300 – 500 watt

– Complete VSAT unit (ODU, IDU) with 2.4 m antenna either DVB, RCS or


– 2 – 5 pairs of wireless 2.4 ghz units complete with omni

antennae and parabolic grid and mounting plus cables, connectors, power

over Ethernet dll. including outdoor box with amplifier (0.5 – 1.0


– 7 Wifi Hotspot equipment for two locations (BRI Housing Complex and

Central Post Office/Wasantara Internet caf in Banda Aceh) and 5 other

locations in the province.

Please send equipment to:

Indonesia Information Technology and ISP Association (IITF/FTII – APJII)


Cyber Building 11th floor, Jl. Kuningan Barat No 8, Jakarta Selatan

12710 Indonesia Phone: +62-2-5296 0634, Fax +62-21-5296 0635, email:

nina@apjii.or.id, Ms. Nina Kencana (Secretary to IITF/ISP Association,


Or IT-Media Coordination Center (POSKO) Banda Aceh, at Head of Branch,

BRI Housing Complex, (Rumah Kantor Kepala Cabang)2 Km from the

Governor’s House (Pendopo Gubernur).


As in all previous crisis situation, there appears to be a major crisis

of bandwidth capacity. We seek urgent assistance in from satellite

bandwidth providers.


We seek urgent assistance in funding for technical volunteers to help

set up the media centers there. While have offers from individuals and

organizations in Indonesia, we welcome others from all places. Some

individuals in the United States and the Barbados (Caribbean) have come

forward to assist with setting up the equipment and maintenance support

so that we can cover the other locations outside the capital Banda Aceh.

In summary, to the victims, relief workers, journalist and all those

assisting the relief effort, help in getting you connected is on the

way. Our IT-Media Center in Banda Aceh has just now come online,

hotspots at the IT-Media Center and Central Post Office is our next

priority. Please donate and provide us with equipment to get these and

more places connected.

Our deepest sympathies to the families of victims who have been killed,

and to all those who have been injured.

Thank you to all those who have contributed in various ways towards this

major relief operation.


Idris F. Sulaiman, PhD.

International Affairs Advisor & ID-CSIRT/IITF-ISP IT-Network Security Forum Coordinator

Indonesia Information Technology Federation (IITF/FTII)

Cyber-Elektrindo Building 11th Floor

Jl Kuningan Barat No.8, Jakarta 12710 Indonesia

Phone: +62-(0)21-5296-0634, Fax: +62-(0)21-5296-0635

Cell/HP: +62-(0) 811-111-312 Email: idriss@indo.net.id

Website: http://www.ftii.or.id



We welcome any financial support towards daily expenses and for

equipment to be purchased locally. Please send your donations to:

Bank Account for Support of the IT-Media Field Team:

Bank Name: Bank Central Asia (BCA)

Account Name: Yayasan Sekolah2000 (School2000 Foundation-IITF/APJII


Account No.: 587-007222-0

Swift Code: CENAIDJA

Branch Office Name: Pembantu Pembangunan

Bank Address: BCA Kantor Cabang Pembantu Pembangunan

Jl. Pembangunan I No. 25, Tel: +62-21-634-1428 , +62-21-6343-630


(2) We have set up our English language website

to coordinate with our IT-Media

Field Team’s assistance effort and as a medium to provide back-up to the

humanitarian relief operations (see below Red Cross and other


(3) For further information, please contact the Coordinating Center

(POSKO) Jakarta

Principal Coordinator: Heru Nugroho, Vice-Chair, IITF & Chair-ISP

Association/APJII (HP: +62-8888-000-263 email: hn@melsa.net.id)

Deputy Coordinator 1: Ahmad Khalil Alkazimy (HP: +62-813-1608-5757


Deputy Coordinator 2: Edwardo Rusfid (HP: +62-856-786-0897 email:


International Affairs Advisor: Idris Sulaiman (HP: +62-811-11-1312