Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Making progress

I had a phone call from the Ayuntamiento this morning in response to my pre-application for the new Bigastrel Connectate system. The lady, who spoke very good English, explained that it was not possible to have a connection at the moment but if 10 - 15 people from our estate applied they would set up access for us in one to two months time.

I currently pay 40,60€ per month for a 1Mb Clear Communications connection which is Wi-Fi from my house to the Pedrera. Changing over to the Bigastrel system would cost me 8,33€ per month (taking advantage of the initial promotion) for exactly the same speed and type of connection. My VoIP phone, for which I pay 1p per minute for calls to Europe, would still work and give me the same call clarity. As the Spanish people we spoke to today explained, the very competitive prices are a gift from the Town Hall to enable Bigastrenses to embrace new technologies.

The only equipment needed, apart from a computer with a network card, is a wireless router which can be bought cheaply from any computer shop. For a small fee, the Ayuntamiento would supply a router and set it up for me.

Those who don't want to pay for a year upfront could pay 3€ per day or 12€ per month. I imagine that would suit non-residents who are only here for a few weeks at a time.

A saving of 32,27€ per month for exactly the same quality of service was too compelling an offer for me to ignore which is why I signed up. Even if Telefonica arrive tomorrow, I would still want to take advantage of this offer. Telefonica's best deal is currently 8,35€ for the first three months and then 40,90€ per month after that for what would in practice be still be a 1Mb connection.

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