JAKARTA (JP): Living in today’s world, the net is open for business-big time. As big as it gets, the 21st century’s civilization builds cities on networking, virtual or real.
Now, cybercities are blooming all around the world. One of them, carefully and intelligently planned, is Malaysia Super Corridor (MSC) by Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDC).
Indonesia, with its setbacks and uproars, comes next. The city funded by L&M Investments Group and organized by PT Cybercity Indonesia will be built in Kemayoran area, the long defunct airport in Jakarta. There is also an already-established satellite city without Internet gimmick, Karawaci, built by the Lippo Group.
Although without the Net gimmick, Karawaci housing has plug-in cable network and other integrated facilities. Unlike Karawaci, the 10-hectare Kemayoran cybercity is still an empty space. The latter also claims to “”act as a hub and a locomotive bridging Indonesia and the world by creating a virtual and physical cluster of Internet-related business.””
Defining a Cybercity
What is a cybercity? Defining cybercity can be pretty tricky. To give an idea, let’s look up the word “”cyberspace”” that was coined by William Gibson in his 1984 novel Neuromancer. Cyberspace is the total interconnectedness of human beings through computers and telecommunication without regard to physical geography. Ever since the Internet became a hype all over the world in the 90s, the word “”cyber”” grows famous for any word related to the Net.
The word cybercity could mean a physical city with Internet connection, yet could mean a virtual city on the Net. If the first is taken into account, then a physical city must include five sectors of living: home, school, office, other facilities for religious, entertainment or commercial purposes, with streets to connect each and one of them. This kind of city could be added with Internet connection to intensify the “”cyberhood”” of the area-in contrast with traditional city.
A property consultant, T. Legawa, states another definition of cybercity. Cybercity is the extended version of teleport. Teleport itself is defined as the interrelated centers of broadband world. One big difference between traditional city and teleport is that teleport’s building has raise floors for computer and telecommunication cables to run freely underneath. This type of building then is 50 cm higher than traditional building. It is a smart building, he adds.
One teleport sponsored and funded entirely by private sector, Immobilien-Treuhand und vermogensahage AG, is Focus Teleport at Berlin, Germany. Another is in India, the Software Technology Park at Bangalore. This teleport was initiated and funded by the Indian Government through the Department of Electronics.
To make it short, a cybercity is probably termed as an enhanced sophisticated city in contrast with today’s existing “”traditional”” city. Cybercity is a more advanced teleport, or a smart city.
From Cyberlaw to Smart Buildings
Despite the political turbulence of the current years, Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad has visioned Malaysia as a fully developed, matured and knowledge-rich country by year 2020. He phrases this as “”Vision 2020″”, a national long term objective guideline.
With this vision, Malaysia prepares Putrajaya (the new seat of government and administration), and Cyberjaya (an intelligent city for multimedia and commercial companies). As a government-appointed, government-backed corporation, MDC calls Putrajaya and Cyberjaya as highlights of MSC’s physical environment. The 15-km-wide-and-50-km long MSC project will connect the Kuala Lumpur City, the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. With worldwide partners such as Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and many others, MDC is arranging the project with three phases of establishment.
Phase 1 is more to establishing the basics: laws and regulations. A world-leading framework of Cyberlaws and intellectual property laws, they call it. Putrajaya for government office area and Cyberjaya for commercial sites are also established during this phase.
On Phase 2, MSC is ready to link itself to other cybercities (or teleports) in Malaysia and all around the world. Phase 3 would transform Malaysia to be a full-fledged knowledge-based country.
Indonesia is most likely to catch up with what Malaysia has planned and achieved. The executive committee chairman of L&M Investments Group, Edward Soeryadjaya, the son of William Soeryadjaya, founder of Astra International, would bring in strategic partners to fund Cybercity Indonesia. Soeryadjaya has already offered SingNet to take up 30 percent stake valued at US$15 million for the project.
Occupying 10 hectares site in Kemayoran area, Jakarta, this cybercity is initiating e-business, incubation, multimedia, education, technology park. PT Cybercity Indonesia has thought of B2B, B2C, ISP, and other net terms for the e-business item.
Incubation includes expertises for technical, industry, financial and business sides. Exposure of multimedia-or more than one concurrent presentation medium-is supported with broadcasting to broadband facilities. Education and Technology Park would possibly become the most essential part of a cybercity.
Last of all, since this project is funded exclusively by private sector, many aspects of this project can only touch the surface. It is difficult to foresee cyberlaw to be set forth soon by the government.
Since most attention of Indonesia’s government is focused on restructuring a bigger land, the cybercity could live up to gimmick of selling Kemayoran real estate.
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Life | Sun, December 31 2000, 7:20 AM