How to Connect With The Web in Indonesia
In this modern age it would be foolish to use anything other than the Internet if you want fast and convenient long distance communications. But how good is the Internet in Indonesia in terms of connectivity?
According to recent research by Internet content delivery company, Akamai, Indonesia is the country with the lowest Internet speed in Asia. It is said only 0.8 percent of the Indonesian population is able to enjoy an Internet connection with a speed of over 4 megabits per second (Mbps).
However, if you work in a large city, web connections will not be a problem. You will be able to surf the World Wide Web with a decent connection as it is mostly available in public places. There are several easy ways to access the Internet in Indonesia.
Most hotels provide a free Internet connection for their customers, even a two star hotel located in South Jakarta costing US$34 per night. If your hotel doesn’t provide a service, don’t worry – you can always go to the nearest Starbucks or McDonald’s café, which are likely to provide free Wi-Fi.
Even though Internet cafés are getting quite rare, you can still find them in some places, usually around schools or universities. Internet cafés are places where you can rent a PC already equipped with an Internet connection. The rental fee can be as low as Rp 5,000/hour or less than $1. However, you may need to be a little bit patient in using the PC as the Internet connection can be really slow as it is shared with other customers.
If you want to have an Internet connection at home, you should consider subscribing to a broadband service, such as FastNet, Speedy or Biznet. The cost depends on the connection speed you want, ranging from Rp 200,000/month ($20) to Rp 5,000,000/month ($50).
A modem with a prepaid card can also be an option. There are various cell phone operators in Indonesia, including Telkomsel, XL and Indosat. Using a modem is much easier than installing a broadband Internet service. You just have to buy a modem, a starter pack SIM card that usually comes in a flash-disc shape, and register the Internet package you are about to use. The prices of modems vary depending on the Internet’s quota.
Accessing the web from your cell phone can be a little tricky. First, you have to buy a cell phone that can be used as a tether (turns phones into modems). You can sign up to the Internet pack from your mobile operator and use it as a modem for your PC or laptop. The disadvantage in using your cell phone as a modem is the signal limitation. You have to ensure the mobile provider you choose has good signal coverage.