Ah no my friends, I have not taken myself off to spend the weekend at one of Italy’s famous beaches. Soon though….
This post is actually about the Internet and how one acquires service in Italy.
If you are anything like me, then you are basically a technological dunce. Yes, I own up to the fact that I am horribly unclever when it comes to all thing technology. I take solace, however, in the fact that since most of it will be obsolete sooner rather than later, that I’m probably not as far behind as I think.
Well, that’s probably not true, but whatever.
So naturally, as a modern woman, especially one who is a newly minted blogger, connectivity was something I gave a lot of thought to even before I left the States. For all the good it did me…
After arriving, I asked pretty much everyone I knew what service they’d chosen, why, how much did it cost, etc.
And the answers were as varied as Italian cuisine. The lowdown is that there are a couple of different choices. The main Internet company in this area is Telecom. They are analogous to the old AT&T or Ma Bell (Southwestern Bell Corporation)–before she had a bunch of babies. For you millennial types, years ago, Ma Bell basically had a monopoly on all telephone service in the United States. There was no competing provider, so Ma Bell could set phone rates and charge whatever they wanted. And if you wanted a telephone in your house, you paid it. At least until the U.S. filed an antitrust lawsuit in the early 80s. Once that happened, the cartel was busted up, and voila, the baby bells and a host of other service providers got into the mix.
So the upshot is that for many years, Telecom was the only game in town–and had the accompanying high prices and terrible customer service. Then, capitalism, free trade, and anti-trust fervor being what it was, other providers elbowed their way in so that now there are several to choose from.
For the sake of brevity (I know, right?) I’ll only focus on two–Aria and Linkem. These two are basically the same, just minor differences in the packages they offer. Linkem is internet only while Aria does offer a phone service.
The difference between Telecom and these two (and really most of the others as well) is that as far as I can tell, all except Telecom are wireless providers in the sense that they run off of satellites. Now please remember that I am technologically challenged, so if my verbiage isn’t 100% accurate, I do apologize.
Telecom is the only one that requires your house or apartment to already have the infrastructure to support its network. And if you don’t by now, it’s unlikely that they will build a line from your house to the road where the telephone poles and fiber optic cables are.
So for those who live in more rural areas, the wireless services make more sense. However, I live in the big city–Pordenone–so I wasn’t necessarily convinced that Aria would be the best choice for me. Especially when I discovered that there wasn’t an office (for lack of a better word) in Pordenone, and the signal I would be getting would be beamed from Roveredo in Piano which is a few miles north.
To complicate matters, I also wanted a regular telephone line. Yes, one with a telephone cord that actually went into the wall. I’m not even going to try to explain why I want one, I just do. Yes, I am a card-carrying Luddite. So sue me. Aria’s phone service required the line to connect to the modem.
To make a long story short, I am going with Telecom, which I am pretty sure I will probably live to regret. They do have a reputation for terrible customer service after all. But I just have a feeling that overall, because of my location, that they will provide the best and most consistent service. I have heard that internet service in this part of Italy can be spotty because we are so close to the mountains. The tech is coming Monday to set it up so I’ll let you know how it goes.