The Bali Provincial Government has confirmed that it will set up over 1,800 free WiFi spots across the island during the G20 Summit. Many schools and businesses have been advised to work from home during the week of the G20 Summit that will be held in Nusa Dua on the 15th and 16th of November.
In light of this, the local government will set up 1,834 WiFi hotspots across Badung and Denpasar to help make it easier for students to study and office workers to attend to their duties. The Head of the Office Bali Province Communications, Information, and Statistics, Gede Pramana, spoke at a virtual G20 conference on Tuesday 11th October. He confirmed that people in Bali are being advised to reduce community mobility during the G20 events to help reduce traffic on the roads for G20-related activities.
He explained, ‘For internet infrastructure, we, the Provincial Government of Bali, have installed free WiFi up to 1,834 points so that work activity can be carried out online, and we have socialized this to the entire community’.
Pramana confirmed that anyone who works in hospitality or cannot work from home may still travel to their workplace during the G20 events. There are expected to be many road closures or traffic diversions during the week of the event to prioritize the movement of heads of state, their delegations, and security personnel.
Those working in Bali or going to school or university can speak to their employer or teams about plans for the two days of remote working. The government has not confirmed whether or not the free WiFi points will remain available for citizens long term as a part of the G20 legacy. It is suspected that the WiFi points will be removed shortly after the event.
Pramana shared that he and the government were confident that the decision to encourage schools and offices to operate vitally for a few days would not have a negative impact. He explained that the decision to do so was informed by the experience of lockdown, where both schools and businesses operated remotely.
Although there were undoubtedly negative impacts from this move in the long term, Pramana feels it is the most appropriate course of action for the days surrounding the international conference. The benefit this time around, compared to lockdown, is that the government is providing free WiFi for citizens who need it.
Pramana told the virtual event audience, ‘We have implemented virtual offices before COVID-19, for example, for correspondence, the need for signatures, so there is no reason not to work, because work is not limited by time and space’.
He explained that many public services will be providing their support online too, either via their websites or through apps. He noted that Samsat, for example, the Indonesian motor tax service provider, is set up for online payments.
The request to limit the movement of citizens and other non-G20 visitors during the summit was submitted by the Coordinating Minister for Investment and Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, who has been one of the lead organizers of the event.
Though the government and the G20 organizing committees have done all they can to reduce the impact the summit will have on Bali’s day-to-day activities, locals and visitors should be mindful that there may be travel disruptions on the roads during the week of the G20 Summit.
While most of the events are being held in the Nusa Dua area, there are several field trips, working group meetings, press trips, and gala dinners that are being held in different regions of Bali. A VVIP terminal has been built at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, so that airport travelers face minimal disruption. Official G20 field visits will include a trip to Tahura Mangrove Ngurah Rai in Denpasar, and Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Jimbaran, Badung.
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