I’ve been hobbling along with my business for nearly 2 months now. Hobbling along in the sense that I’ve been hit with a serious work injury and although I can still get to where I need to with work, it just takes a little Longer than usual. And it’s a serious injury called ‘Having No Telephone At Your Office Injury’. Yes it’s a Long name for a an injury but the Long name may possibly signify the Long wait I have been awaiting for from Telikom to fix my landline and the Long list of unwarranted expenses I have had to inccur like extra mobile phone credits and web surfing at internet cafe’s which is just about to make me go LongLong?!!!
So now that I’m out on the streets with everyone else I’ve had to inspect nearly every decent internet access point in Port Moresby to just get my work done (and to update this blog of course). For starters I’m actually typing this up in Lae at the Melo, using Datec’s wireless SurfZone.pg service. Not bad at 54mbps, and at least I have the luxury of doing all this on a laptop in my room. (In case you’re wondering, I’m in Lae for a conference).
But back in Port Moresby I found the Sports Inn to be quite good. They get their internet from Telikom’s ADSL service and you can get an hours surfing for K12 or K9 for 30mins. Virtual Land in Town impressed me with their gaming setups and the huge number of PC’s to choose from so you’re not waiting in line which is what you can find sometimes at the Sports Inn. But they seemed as fast as my Datec dial up which is not too bad but you can notice the difference when you’re on Sports Inn’s ADSL service.
I had a look at the internet cafe at RH Hypermart, but I soon grew to detest it because they’ve locked the browsers so you can only look at one page at a time, which is very frustrating for someone like me who likes to have a number of pages open so I can flick through each one as the others are loading. The other frustrating thing with them is that they dont allow you to use your flash drives and when working on documents like Word you have to go out of the internet browser screen, work on the doc, then go back to the browser, which again as I said is just a waste of money if you ask me.
But my bestest public internet access experince was at the Holiday Inn, using Daltron’s Airspot service. Not only do you have a nice comfortable place to work from which is in their VIP lounge, but when all the other ISP’s seemed to be having issues (even Telikom surprisingly) 2 weekends ago, the Airspot service at Holiday Inn was going as fast as ever at 80-90 mbps. I’m sure Datec’s SurfZone is probably just as good out at Gateway etc as well, but I ended up at Holiday Inn because it was the closest place to my office in Gordons. The other great advantage of using a wireless service at a hotel is that you can log off to do work on say a Word doc before emailing it, so in doing so you save your internet time when working offline so you only go online when you need to but without having to be forced leave your seat like when you run out of time at an internet cafe.
But perhaps the most important point from all the places I tried out is value for money. I bought a K50 card for the Airspot and that lasted me a day and a half. That’s without any major downloads but just email checking throughout the day. Compared to internet cafe’s where you’ll spend over K10 an hour, it seems to me that you get more for your money with the Wireless setups at the hotels. But of course you will need your own laptop with a wireless card in built to it. But I would reccomend anyone running a small business to take this route for casual online usage.
So anyway just some tips and experiences on looking for internet Cafe’s in POM (and Lae). I also wrote on Wewak sometime back but let us know though if you know of any other good places around PNG to get online. Oh and with the hotels too you can at least have a nice cup of flat white with a toasted sandwhich while you’re working away. Now that’s something to stop you going LongLong! (for a while I guess)