Internet Connection in Indonesia

Ever since I got acquainted with the Internet in 1997 an internet connection is a must for me, quite frankly because internet have become a way of living for me especially now that I have my own website. I’ve moved several times since then, so I got to use several different means of connection because not every option for an internet connection is available to me every time I moved. I have been using internet from dial up to broadband, from using standard modem to using cell phones.

It is hard to find a cheap, but good enough internet connection in Indonesia generally, and that is also true in Jakarta. At first, during the late 1990’s, the only available connection is Dial-Up. But this is quite expensive because in Indonesia you pay the Phone Company (Telkom) for every second you use your phone line to call someone in this case the ISP. So you can see why this is not the most cost effective way to connect to the internet especially if you are one of those people who spend a lot of time exploring the cyberspace. Besides paying the Phone Bill you also have to pay the ISP for using their service. And the ISP also charges you based on the time you spend, just like the Phone Company. As an illustration, spending 50 hours online could cost you around Rp 500.000,- (US$55.00).

This is where I got kind of lucky. My university at that time had their own ISP, so students could call to the ISP and don’t have to pay for the service, but only pay for the telephone usage. The university even has their own cyber room, where students can use the computers there to connect to the internet for a minimal fee. I ended up using dial up for the next 5 years or so. Although I started using another ISP’s paid service halfway through mainly because: my University’s ISP was getting slower and it is almost intolerable. This last one is quite well known ISP in Indonesia. I still use their service until today although mainly only for the e-mail address and mailbox.

And then I got the chance to use my Cable connection for data. There’s actually only one cable TV network provider in Jakarta, and several ISPs got into a mutual agreement with my cable TV network provider so that they may offer Broadband Internet in Jakarta through the cable TV network. Although they have limited coverage, the lure of a flat rate internet connection caught me. There are actually two monthly fees to pay, the cable TV and the ISP. Both totaled around Rp 550.000,- (US$60.5). Since the total monthly fee is only slightly more expensive, I decided to switch. I later dropped the ISP because later they increased the monthly fee to around Rp 550.000,- (US$60.5), and combined with the cable TV, the fee totaled around Rp 750.000,- (US$82.5) and it was getting too expensive for me, so I decided to stop using my cable ISP.

Around this time I got married and am moving out of my mom’s house. My wife and I rented a room at a nearby boarding house where unfortunately there’s no telephone line or any other means of internet connection. I can’t imagine myself living without any internet access, so I decided to do some searching. That’s when I heard about internet connection through the CDMA network. I ended up buying a CDMA phone and applying with a CDMA network provider. At first the connection is good, although not as good as my cable connection. But not long after that, it started getting slower. Perhaps because the provider only charge people around Rp 200.000,- (US$22) with a bandwidth usage limit of 1GB per month. That is quite reasonable in my opinion, so with all things considered, I switched again.

You know, the plus side of using a mobile connection is you can bring internet with you wherever you go, as long as there are coverage. Although at that time the coverage is not very good. But still, I don’t have any other option at that time. I ended up using the CDMA network provider’s service for 3 years. I moved again a couple of times during that time until I ended up where I am now. Since I am now out of the boarding house, I have a new option to consider, and that is ADSL. The local government owned local telecom company (TELKOM) launched a new internet service using ADSL with a pricing and bandwidth usage that is not much different than using CDMA, but of course with the benefit of faster connection speed, so I switched again.

After six month of using ADSL, suddenly my former cable tv company announces in the media that they have changed their name and owner, and that they’re offering unlimited cable internet access with half the price of my ADSL connection. I think you can already guess what happened. I switched again and as for now I’m still happily using the cable connection again. As far as internet fee goes, this is for me the cheapest internet connection available in Jakarta right now. Unfortunately their cable network hasn’t covered the entire city of Jakarta yet. But they predicted that they’ll have 1 million internet service subscriber by the end of 2009 and they are doing everything they can to achieve it.

If you are living in Jakarta and are still looking for the right internet connection, as long as your area is covered, this is the cheapest internet connection in Jakarta. Or you can also say that it is the best value-for-your-money internet connection. If you want to check whether your area is covered or not, you can go and pay a visit to their website. If your area is not covered (yet), then you should try and find another solution for you. Perhaps you could consider using Speedy ADSL from Telkom or you can opt for 3G or HSDPA connection which is starting to get popular here. Whichever way you choose, I hope you the best of luck!


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