Wednesday, January 28, 2009

From famine to feast

When we first arrived at Villas Andrea we had no landline phone and there was no immediate prospect of getting one. In addition, we had no means of accessing the Internet other that going down to the library or visiting one of the Internet cafes.

Then along came Wi-Surf with their satellite based system which cost a fortune to install and turned out to be unreliable and troublesome.

VoIP telephony over a satellite system was hopeless. When you are connecting to the Internet and the system drops a package of information, your computer just asks for it to be re-sent. It causes a delay but it still works. When packages of information are dropped during a phone call you miss out parts of the conversation. It was like talking to Norman Collier*.

Just before Telefónica arrived, Aeromax installed phones for some using a WIMAX system.

For those with Telefónica lines, there are several alternatives to the Spanish company  for  call charges - all of them offer a cheaper rate.

More recently we're  been offered the Bigastel  Wi-Fi system and now we can move over from Telefónica to BT.

It is a bewildering choice and potentially a minefield. It is like comparing oranges and lemons. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages. In other words there isn't a 'one size fits all' solution. In the end it is down to what suits the individual.

* For those of you too young to remember him, Norman Collier was a comedian best known for his legendary 'faulty microphone' routine and for his amazingly lifelike chicken impressions. The guy made a forty year career in working men's clubs out of it! Later on Freddie Starr performed a similar routine.

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