Sat, 16 Dec 2000

KabelVision hooks up with five Net Service Providers

JAKARTA (JP): KabelVision, the first TV cable and broadband Internet network provider in Indonesia, will forge alliances with five more Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Jakarta next month to expand its coverage of broadband internet services.

Deputy director Srihanto Nugroho told reporters on Thursday that the move was expected to encourage more Internet users in the capital to switch from using the dial-up telephone connection to the Internet to KabelVision's high speed fiber optic connection.

Srihanto declined to name the five ISPs to be added to the existing ISPs -- Linknet and Indosatnet -- currently allied with KabelVision's service.

KabelVision's fiber optic connection provides individual subscribers Internet access with a speed of 64 kilo bytes per second (KBps) compared to a maximum of 56 KBps now available through ordinary telephone lines. Users paying the corporate rate can enjoy Internet speed of up to 30 MBps, according to KabelVision.

KabelVision has enlisted 1,500 customers for its Internet facility since it was launched five months ago.

The company hopes to bolster the number to 40,000 Internet subscribers in 2001 when it expands its facility in Surabaya and Bali, Srihanto said.

"Demand for broadband Internet will increase significantly because more and more business is being conducted through the Internet, requiring facilities to transmit large data volumes quickly," he said.

Currently, some 32,000 households in Jakarta subscribe to KabelVision's TV cable services. The company, a unit of the widely diversified Lippo Group, is competing in this field with satellite-based cable TV services, such as Indovision.

In broadband Internet, KabelVision will compete with Speednet, which is offering its facility through radio wave, and the state-owned giant PT Telkom, which will be offering its facility through upgraded copper cable.

Srihanto said KabelVision is not deterred by the competitors, noting that they have to spend more money than his company in building infrastructure.

The arrival of new competitors, however, will affect prices charged to subscribers, he said, adding that KabelVision would still be able to offer lower rates than its competitors.

Separately, Haniana Loeis, general manager of Speednet said the number of people in Jakarta who subscribe to the Internet through broadband or dial-up providers has passed 200,000.

Speednet, which is launching its Internet broadband service through radio frequency next month, aims to net 15,000 subscribers in 2001. "Our target will be 80 % corporate subscribers, and the rest will be individual subscribers," she said.

Speednet offers Internet access with speeds of between 64 KBps and 10 Mbps.

Telkom's Internet broadband, offering Internet speeds of up to 8 MBps, will be available in Bali next year where a project to upgrade telephone lines has already been completed.

The company appointed PT Alcatel Indonesia in October to upgrade its copper wire network in Jakarta next year. (05)