Saturday, June 05, 2004

Being in a Broadband Developing Country

The last two days I stayed in Ireland and was nearly totally disconnected, although I stayed in a first class hotel (Herbert Park, located just between the British and the American Embassy), they had no broadband connection in the room (only TV based Internet).

Of course you could go down to the "Business Room", featuring to IBM PCs with BBB (Bonsai BroadBand), but costing a fortune: 26 Euro/h (in word TWENTY SIX PER HOUR). This was the most expensive Internet hour I had in my life and the connection was very slow (I suspect ISDN). Asking for Hotspoz nearby I got the answer that some of the Pubs have it on the door, but it never works - maybe it because of the location between the two embassies - in front of the American sometimes even mobile phone do not work ;-)

So I was really happy when I finally reached the Airport announcing free WiFi access.
There where even two companies providing access in the coffee shop: Eircom and BT. I started with Eircom (being in Ireland), but the signal strength was very low and the speed was very slow (I tried to download a 1MB ppt attachment duding 1 hour and failed)

Finally the signal got so weak (no idea why, I did not move), so the laptop swiched over to BT, which was also weak and slow). So I gave up and went to the gate, which I shold have done earlier, because there was finally a third company O2 providing a decent access, so I could finally download the ppt). But now my Laptop ran out of battery, so I had to search for a power plug. So I ended up sitting on the floor in front of the toilet.

Being now in London, things have improved. The hotel (Copthorne Tara) also does not have internet access in the room, but WiFi in the Lounge (and I also found a power plug).

It is of course not free, but 36 Pounds a week, which is still a rip-off, but kind of an improvement to Ireland.

BTW, the cable operator in Ireland announced yesterday it will provide Internet via cable very soon. Maybe then VoIP will also be possible in Ireland.

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