Free Internet in Kuta Extended

KUTA ~ State telecoms firm Telkom announced this week that it was extending a free trial period of its Kuta Beach hotspot program until August 17, to welcoming the 62nd anniversary of Indonesia’s independence as well as publicizing the service to more people.

The Kuta Cyber Beach program was launched last month to provide wireless internet access for 2,007 meters along Kuta Beach, stretching from the Bali Dynasty Hotel on Jl. Kartika Plaza to the Sahid Raya Hotel at Jl. Pantai.

After the free trial period, the service will be accessible using a prepaid card called I-VAS, available at cellular phone counters for Rp10,000 to Rp50,000, Telkom said.

According to Telkom Bali spokesman Ketut Purwa, the company has placed 30 access points covering the beach, with each spot having a radius of 150 meters.

“Each point transmits an internet connection within 150 meters, with a speed of 128 mbps,” said Purwa, adding that the company was planning to increase the speed up to 512 mbps.

The program has seen increasing interest from users, with most traffic for accessing emails and news from PDAs.

“The connection also supports downloading or uploading. However, it seems that most users prefer to use the connection for emails due to efficiency reasons. Perhaps they would prefer laptops for more formal purposes,” he said.

Telkom said it did not have plans for similar infrastructure in other regions in Bali.

“From the beginning, we have aimed to support Kuta in providing e-tourism. Any provider is capable of doing this, but Telkom has the advantage of having the existing telephone lines on which we placed the access points,” said Purwa.

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