Understanding Infrastructure: Types, Functions, Benefits, and Roles

Understanding Infrastructure: Types, Functions, Benefits, and Roles

Nikereact.org – To achieve a success, of course we need a solid and strong infrastructure. Often, we hear this term in our daily life. When we hear the term infrastructure, of course the first thing that comes to our mind is buildings, facilities, and things related to development.

But, you need to know that in a business, infrastructure is also one of the important things that must exist. Then, what is the role of infrastructure in running a business? What does infrastructure have to do with the business we are going to run?

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These questions may arise in our minds when we hear the term infrastructure in a business. Because, we often think that infrastructure and business are two different things. But apparently, there is an understanding of business infrastructure. Well, to understand this, let’s discuss one by one about these two fields. The first step we will do is to understand the meaning of infrastructure.

Understanding Infrastructure

Understanding Infrastructure: Types, Functions, Benefits, and Roles

What does infrastructure mean in general? So, if viewed from the understanding of infrastructure in general, the meaning is all structures and also basic facilities, both physical and social, for example buildings, electricity supply, roads, and others needed for the operation of community and company activities.

Another opinion states that infrastructure is all kinds of facilities needed by the general public to support various community activities in their daily lives. In other words, infrastructure is all facilities, whether physical or non-physical, built by the government or individuals to meet the basic needs of the community in the economic and social sphere.

Generally, infrastructure refers to the physical development of public facilities, such as roads, ports, schools, hospitals, sewage treatment, clean water, airports, and many more. In addition, infrastructure can also refer to technical matters such as supporting economic activities by providing modes of transportation, distribution of goods and services, and so on.

Understanding Infrastructure According to Experts

In order to better understand the meaning of infrastructure, here are some opinions from experts about what infrastructure is.

1. N. Gregory Mankiw

The definition of infrastructure according to N. Gregory Mankiw in economics is a form of public capital or public capital consisting of bridges, public roads, sewer systems, and others as one of the investments made by the government.

2. Neil S. Grigg

The definition of infrastructure according to Neil S. Grigg is a physical system that provides irrigation, drainage, transportation, buildings, and physical facilities needed to meet various basic human needs, both economic needs and social needs.

3. Robert J. Kodoatie

The definition of infrastructure according to Robert J. Kodoatie is a system that supports the economic and social system which also acts as an intermediary for the environmental system. Where the system can be used as a basis for making policies.

Types of Infrastructure

After understanding what infrastructure is in terms of definitions and expert opinions. We will now discuss the types of infrastructure in order to have a more comprehensive discussion. Understanding what types of infrastructure are can give us a more detailed explanation in understanding what infrastructure really is.

If we refer to the notion of infrastructure as an asset in the form of physical or non-physical and can support people’s lives in general in terms of social and economic terms. You also need to understand that infrastructure is also divided into several types. The following are some types of infrastructure that you need to understand:

1. Hard Infrastructure

The type of hard infrastructure is infrastructure that we can see in terms of its physical form in real terms. Usually this type of infrastructure includes roads, airport ports, irrigation canals, and other types of public facilities.

2. Non-Physical Hard Infrastructure

If it is based on the type of non-physical hard infrastructure, it includes various efforts made to support facilities and infrastructure in general that are useful for supporting various social and economic activities of the general public. For example, related to the provision of clean water, telecommunications networks, and the provision of electricity supply, as well as efforts related to the procurement of sources of energy supply.

3. Soft Infrastructure

Types of soft infrastructure are all things that play a role in supporting the smooth running of various social and economic activities of the wider community. Where it is not visible physical form and its form with the naked eye. In general, it operates within a set of rules, systems, and norms provided by the government or other NGOs. For example, the application of good and correct work ethics, public services, regulations made by the government including laws containing trade law rules and others.

Infrastructure Components

You need to understand that infrastructure also has several types of components in it. What is meant by components in this case is included in the infrastructure part itself. Then, what kind of components are in the infrastructure? Here is the full explanation.

When referring to the American Public Works Associations, the infrastructure component actually includes all types of public facilities that advanced people need in their daily lives. For example, the provision of clean water and its management or water treatment, provision of flood control, waste water management systems, provision of cross-water navigation facilities.

In addition, there is also the development of transportation progress which includes public facilities in the form of water, air, and sea transportation. Then also various other supporting components for the advancement of the economic and social life of society in general.

If viewed from the policy regulations, the infrastructure components are divided into three groups, namely:

a. Infrastructure Components That Have Input

The characteristics of this type of component focus on the type of infrastructure that can provide results or inputs for the economic and social conditions of the community. For example, the supply of clean water sources and electricity sources in people’s daily lives in general.

b. Components of Infrastructure Characteristics Taking Output

The characteristics of this type of component focus on taking the output obtained from the activities of the general public. For example, garbage and waste disposal systems, drainage support systems or waterways, and so on.

c. Combined Infrastructure Components of the Two

The characteristics of this type of component usually focus on the combination of the two types of components above. Where this one component focuses on the process of giving and also taking things from people’s daily lives. For example, the use of telecommunications networks and others.

Here the community will provide input to be able to access the infrastructure components that support the social and economic activities of the community. For example, community activities in paying a telephone bill. That way, the community will get output in the form of access to telecommunication networks to support their social and economic activities.

Infrastructure Function

In fact, infrastructure serves as a support for the activities of the general public. Where infrastructure functions to facilitate and support the smooth running of social and economic activities of the community, such as the distribution of goods and services.

The following are some examples of infrastructure and their functions:

a. The bridge serves as a link between one place to another. The place can be an area or a city.
b. According to their function, roads are divided into several groups. Starting from local roads, arterial roads, collector roads, and environmental roads. For long-distance travel with high average speeds, arterial roads are usually used. Meanwhile, for infrequent trips with moderate average speed, usually using collector roads. Then for short distance travel with a low average speed usually use environmental roads.
c. The house functions as a place to live and a place to take shelter and carry out various activities.

Infrastructure Benefits

Infrastructure turns out to have many benefits for us. Among them are benefits in the economic, social, and cultural fields. For benefits in the social sector, infrastructure acts as a means of communication. If there is no infrastructure, an area will be isolated and cannot communicate or socialize with other regions. Where areas are isolated, the network will be cut off from outside areas. So that the life of the people in the area will be disrupted.

Then the benefits of infrastructure in the economic field are as a means to carry out various buying and selling transactions. Not only that, infrastructure also functions as a means of connecting in distributing production and services. If the infrastructure runs smoothly, then all economic activities will also run smoothly. So that people can live in prosperity and the economy of the community will also increase.

Finally, the benefits of infrastructure in the cultural field are useful as a part of culture itself. For example, namely traditional houses. In this case, the infrastructure in the form of traditional houses is built according to the culture that exists in that place.

Impact of Infrastructure Development

The impact of infrastructure development is that it can be a driver of economic growth for the community in general. On the other hand, economic growth can also be a source of pressure for infrastructure. So that positive economic growth can encourage an increase in people’s needs for various kinds of infrastructure. The role of infrastructure here is as a driver in the economic sector and can be a driving force for the development of related sectors as a multiplier. In the end, it will create new business fields and provide output derived from production as input for consumption.

In an economic development will have an impact on the economic growth of the community and also the quality of life. Economic growth itself will have an effect on investment. Meanwhile, improving the quality of life will have an impact on the welfare of society in general. This is because infrastructure development can reduce poverty and unemployment in a country.

As one of the supports for public welfare in general and investment in development, we do need various kinds of infrastructure. Starting from road network infrastructure, telecommunications networks, electricity networks, clean water, and others. The boost in the electricity sub-sector, transportation sub-sector, road sub-sector, and communication sub-sector was caused by an increase in demand originating from each sub-sector. In addition, the increase in these sub-sectors is offset by the large number of infrastructure development investments in each of these sub-sectors.

An example is the community’s need for electricity. Indonesia itself is experiencing problems in terms of electricity supply. Where the electricity supply can not meet the needs of the community. Then this resulted in blackouts in various areas alternately. In fact, electricity is not only needed by private homes, but is also very much needed in the industrial sector which will have an impact on the community’s economy as well. Therefore, the electricity network infrastructure is one component that is quite important in supporting community activities and is very influential on economic problems.

Likewise in the construction of road network infrastructure. Where road construction is no less important than other infrastructure development. Because it is also needed as a connecting tool from one place to another. With road access that is easier to reach, it will affect the strategic elements of a place and ease of access will affect many private parties who want to invest.

With the private sector wanting to invest, it will affect the rapid economic growth. Not only that, with the development of infrastructure such as a road network, it will provide benefits for the welfare of the community. Because, they are free from the difficulties of communication networks and get various easy access for the community itself.

The telecommunications network also has an influence on the welfare of the community. One of the proofs is the existence of various types of private television stations to date. This proves that there is quite a lot of private investment in Indonesia, especially in the telecommunications sector. Especially in this era of globalization. Where telecommunications is needed as a tool to support the success of a country. As we can see, the demand for telecommunication facilities is also increasing.

Not only that, clean water facilities also have an important and strategic role to improve the standard of living and also the status of the community. In addition, these facilities are also a factor driving the welfare of society in general. However, in terms of supply, both in terms of quality, quantity, and also continuity, it has not run continuously. On the other hand, the demand for clean water used as a health standard also continues to increase without being matched by efforts to improve service quality.

The Role of Infrastructure

Infrastructure plays a very important role, namely as one of the driving wheels for economic growth and development. The presence of adequate infrastructure is very much needed. Facilities and infrastructure in physical form or often referred to as infrastructure is a very important part of the community service system.

Physical facilities are very vital to support various kinds of economic activities, government, industry, as well as social and economic activities of the community. Starting from road transportation, energy systems, school and office buildings, to telecommunications networks, clean water service networks, houses of worship, and others. All of this requires adequate infrastructure support.

Based on the Pacitan Regency Medium-Term Development Plan 2011 to 2016, regional infrastructure has become a strategic issue that is prioritized in development planning in the regions. The long-term development policy is an effort to continuously improve:

1. Handling poverty
2. Natural resource processing
3. Quality and accessibility of education as well as health
4. Ease of public access to public facilities and services
5. Improvement of basic infrastructure development
6. Ease of public access to clean water
7. Handling disaster-prone areas

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