It was 2002. Prior to the Japan-Korea 2002 World Cup for the first time in this beloved country I expected to have a broadband connection to the Internet which would do away with paying ballooning monthly phone bill as the consequence of rather uncontrollable net connection on dial-up plan. Yes my ever growing appetite for information could no longer be sustained by a dial-up plan subscription. It was the phone bill that shook me down with nearly one million rupiahs monthly. That’s why I began to search high and low for a new connection plan that provided an unlimited basis yet with a more economical fee. The options were limited at that time but a friend of mine apprised me of the presence of a cable TV service which also provided an Internet connection on unlimited basis. Soon afterwards I began enjoying the unlimited basis which freed me from paying skyrocketing phone bills. I only had to pay Rp. 350.000,- monthly (10% VAT not included), it is way economical vis-à-vis the phone bill I had to monthly pay on the dial-up plan. Speed?? Well…. at the time I began to subscribe to it, speed did not much improve, it lumbered at a little bit over than 64 kbps! Or even in the peak hours of use, speed can drop to the level where you can appreciate your old 56 kbps dial-up modem. But I did not really care, I was absorbed with the fact that I had to pay less with more time of connection every month and it made me be in seventh heaven!
Unfortunately I had to subscribe to the pay-TV too to enjoy the cable connection. That’s because the cable TV operator did not offer Internet service and if you wanted to connect to the broadband connection you had to contact an Internet provider that became the business partner of the TV cable operator, as simple troublesome as that! But for the total enjoyment in surfing the Net, I was prepared to expend ‘more’ and quitting the subscription to my old pay-TV operator.
The clock ticked on, in 2004 the provider raised the fee to Rp. 500.000,- (10% VAT not included). In the previous year, I had to leave Jakarta for Bandung due to my job’s prerequisite. I did not quit the service because I still needed it in case I had to stay in Jakarta for a day or two in slack times or in holidays. Meanwhile in Bandung, I also enrolled in another TV-pay service as a subscriber (2006) and in another broadband Internet provider (2007). With the multiple subscriptions like this of course it brought out the financial burdens in me and somehow I had to find a way to cut down the budget.
In the late 2007, I was informed that the (Jakarta) TV cable operator had offered the integrated Internet service with more economical value because it operates on its own network unlike the third party provider which must offer the service with a higher fee due to the additional network lease fee. Initially (and oddly) I doubted to switch to the new provider as they tried to improve their service. Speed had quadrupled since 2002 when first I subscribed. And last but not least I did not have the heart to quit the weaker side ( I take the third party provider for the weaker side because in no way they can compete with the host or TV provider integrated Internet service on cable network).
But in the end of the day I had to make up my mind since I am not a well-to-do person, I am just another man in the street. After mulling it over for more than a year, soon after the last Eid-ul-Fitr holiday I decided to switch over to the TV cable operator’s Internet service, bidding the old Internet provider adieu. However despite undergoing the ups and downs with the service I would like to thank the old Internet provider for giving me the first experience of broadband Internet connection…..
My old Internet broadband provider in Jakarta: Centr*n
My so-called new Internet broadband provider/TV cable operator in Jakarta: Kabelvision F*rst Media. I subscribed to FastNet 512 which only costs me Rp. 195.000,- (VAT not included).