The Yogyakarta administration and PT Telkom have launched free wireless Internet access on the city’s most famous tourist thoroughfare, Jl. Malioboro.
City public relations chief Tri Hastono said that the service was part of a deal on the Jogja Digital City (JDC) program signed by Yogyakarta Mayor Haryadi Suyuti and PT Telkom general manager Firdaus Ruswandi on Thursday.
“Malioboro has been deliberately chosen to be the first spot to enjoy the WiFi access service because it is the city’s icon and a center of tourism activities,” Tri said on Friday.
Tri said that the free Internet access would help tourists keep in contact and help local traders to sell their merchandise online.
However, The Jakarta Post discovered on Friday that the Malioboro Cyber Street service — as the program is named — could not accessed evenly in all areas.
Muamar Purnomo, who sells bags and wallets on the sidewalk of Jl. Malioboro, said it was difficult to use his tablet computer to access the Internet through the free service.
“I need to connect to the Internet, because I spend the whole day here and have no time to watch television to follow the news,” Muamar said.
Another trader, Jalaroso, said that he could access the free service using his smartphone, but the signal was not strong.
“I use the Internet to market my merchandise online,” Jalaroso said.
Tri Hastono said that the municipal administration and the service provider would respond to the complaints of the vendors.
“That way we can solve the blank spot problems,” he said.
A similar agreement on digital government services (DGS) was signed by PT Telkom president director Arif Yahya and Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X on Thursday.
Hamengkubuwono said he hoped that officials could realize plans to develop the Jogja Cyber Province initiative.
“That way digital government services can run well,” Hamengkubuwono said as quoted by the local administration portal.
The governor also said that with information technology support, students in the province could learn to become good entrepreneurs who could successfully develop and market their own products.
Meanwhile, Arif Yahya said that the agreement was signed to support government activities in administration, public services, economy and culture.
Through the Jogja Cyber Province initiative, according to Arif, Yogyakarta, which is known for its creative industries, would have the opportunity to compete, offering products from other regions in Indonesia and abroad.
“We really hope that the digital creative industry in Yogyakarta will continue to grow,” Arif said.
With regard to the JDC program, Arif said that the company would provide 2,900 hot spots across Yogyakarta city, most of which would be on Jl. Malioboro and Jl. Mangkubumi.
Arif said that PT Telkom had been cooperating with many regional administrations across the country to support their information technology services.
So far, Arif added, three provincial administrations have worked with the firm: Jakarta, for support in education and health services; Bali, for tourism services; and Yogyakarta, government services.