International Traveling Technology Travails, Part Four: Internet Edition
Everyone Has Wifi, Right?
Wrong! And this has annoyed me for years. All tech writers seem to assume that everyone lives in New York or San Francisco, so of course wifi and internet access are ubiquitous. Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that living in the Midwest I have friends who have trouble getting ANY internet access because they are farmers, and concentrate on the large part of the rest of the world that isn’t in New York or S.F.
OK, A Lot of Places Do
It’s not that we’ve had huge problems getting online because of an inherent lack of internet access in Chile. This is a pretty developed country in the major cities, where we have been, and internet access is not hard to find. Our place in Santiago had wifi, and the place Cecile got for us in Viña was supposed to have wifi, and we were surrounded by wifi. But our place didn’t have it. And there’s the rub: we depend on it so much for our work and communication with others, that not having it, or having to huddle around a window poaching the only open wifi network in Chile, puts us in a serious bind. Especially with us not having a smart phone that’s using its built-in intelligence. And that’s another part of the problem.
Smart Phones, Smart Phones Everywhere
While you don’t see almost everyone staring into their phones as they walk down the street, ride the metro or, let’s face it, drive, it’s still safe to say that many, many people here (I don’t want to try and put a percentage on it, but let’s say at least around 50%) have smart phones. And if you have a smart phone, you have internet as long as you’re someplace with a signal. As documented here, my plan with Virgin Mobile led me to cancel the cell service on my phone for the duration, as it wouldn’t do me any good here. If we had a smart phone with working cellular, as opposed to cellular phones that aren’t very smart (though the junk texts have been rolling in), our problems would have been … lessened.
Wherefore Internet Access?
Well if you’ve been following our saga, you know that we’re in our new place, don’t have internet yet, but do have access in the lobby. Our landlady gave us two choices for our internet access (the equipment’s actually in the apartment already), and after a bit of research I had Cecile e-mail her with our choice (Movistar, where we have our cell service). It’s not the cheapest plan, but the other company’s lower end plan, in addition to be much slower for only $6 (Chilean peso equivalent)/month less, didn’t say that it included wifi, and I don’t want to have to deal with figuring out if it does.
So hopefully, within a few days, we will be back online. Just in time for Cecile to be spending most of her days and the university and Joel to be at school.
MINE, the internet will be ALL MINE.
Except on weekends and evenings … and in the mornings … and if the students go on strike, which they apparently are expected to do quite often.
Sigh. I guess I’ll still have to share.