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International Connectivity 504

Posted by timothy
from the aim-high-pay-low dept.
Steve Suppe writes "As an American who is going to be living overseas for a few years (Germany, to be more exact), I'm curious as to what advice/information Slashdot could provide people like me. How much can I expect to pay for dial-up/broadband, and from who? I'd be interested to hear how it differs around the world. Any good reference sites? Thanks!"
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International Connectivity

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  • How about.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by THEbwana (42694) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:06PM (#5420798)
    Same question - different country:
    - Does anyone know about the connectivity in Jamaica?
    I understand you can get ADSL - but is it available everywhere or just in a few areas. Any alternatives to ADSL (I hate using modems)..?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:18PM (#5420868)
      With that much weed and hot women, you got time for surfing?
    • Re:How about.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Technician (215283) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @10:26PM (#5421641)
      Check with Cable and Wireless. They have a monopoly in most of the carribean. Unless something is diffrent there, they will be your only choice. The Jamaca Cable and Wireless page is http://home.cwjamaica.com/. You should be able to find rates and requirements there.

      I don't see rates published online, but contact information for internet is here.

      Customers can access information about local dial up numbers by

      Dialling 1-888-225-5295 (CALL-CWJ)
      Visiting the Cable & Wireless website (www.cwjamaica.com)
      Visiting any of their 24 Commercial offices


    • Try this page for the current rates.

      http://home.cwjamaica.com/content/products_servi ce s/data_ip/internet_services/rates.asp?ID=316

  • German DSL (Score:5, Informative)

    by peteypooh (465922) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:08PM (#5420808)
    The Deutsche Telekom [t-online.de] sells flat-rate "T-DSL" for about 55 euros a month. The service is extremely reliable as compared to what I was used to in the states. However, it is a bit of pain to get the parts (three separate boxes) and get it turned on. Get some help from a German-speaking friend or soldier. (as a side bonus, with the flat DSL, you can call the US for 4 cents a minute)

    They also sell time-based access cards on post, and on the economy, if you don't want always-on access.

    Good luck!
    • Re:German DSL (Score:3, Informative)

      by peteypooh (465922)
      One more comment, for linux users: You will need to know how to get linux working with the PPP protocol to get "T-DSL" up and running. One good website I've seen is this one [physics.ubc.ca]. Not sure which distributions work with it off the bat, but I know it wasn't too easy for me. The telekom provided directions for getting it to work, but in German unfortunately, and I cannot translate German and linux at the same time yet!
      • Re:German DSL (Score:2, Informative)

        by germanbirdman (159018)
        It's pretty straight forward.

        Get The roaring penguin ppoe, that is what I use.

        Username is a bit complex.

        Basically, on your t-online password info sheet, you need to look for two things:

        - Anschlußkennung
        - T-Online Nummer

        Both are nowerdays 12 digit numbers.

        The username is these numbers written together plus the following string (Mitbenutzer Nummer)

        #0001@t-online.de

        so the whole string example is

        123456789012123456789012#0001@t-online.de

        That would be the username

        The password is just the password.

        Not many hassles really to get it to work.

    • Re:German DSL (Score:5, Informative)

      by genus babbage (630038) <<ten.mgw> <ta> <todhsals>> on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:26PM (#5420917)
      >> However, it is a bit of pain to get the parts (three separate boxes)

      sounds like you got ISDN too (?). It took me a long time to convince them that I didn't really need T-ISDN in order to get T-DSL; It seems as though a lot of their sales staff don't understand this either, and may not believe you for a while - keep at it - you really don't want ISDN :)

      That 55euro tarrif rings a bell r.e. ISDN too; I'm reasonably sure I pay around 49euro, and I don't have ISDN (or the 3 extra boxes you see in most houses - my DSL plugs in the phone socket, as you'd expect).

      Note that you buy DSL from your telco, and then an account (which needs to be a DSL account if you want DSL) from your ISP; this is different to the UK, no idea how it compares to USA.

      They have a confusing list of available taffifs - you can easily end up paying per minute if you're not careful; flat rate is almost certainly the best option, IMO, unless you have very low useage.

      I also think the service is very reliable, and have been happy with them so far (I'm a brit, been here about 7 months now).

      Either T-Online or T-DSL drop the line every 24 hours as well, if this is a problem you'll need to check other suppliers.

      T-Online is anoying in that it won't let you use a "From" address other than your t-online one (it will replace whatever you put with a long string of numbers at t-online.de; I presume these numbers are my account number or something) - it doesn't strip "reply to", but it's damn anoying. Might be worth checking out other ISPs if this would anoy you too, unless someone here knows a way around this.
      • Re:German DSL (Score:4, Informative)

        by germanbirdman (159018) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @08:05PM (#5421092)
        Basically, pricewise it does not make much of a difference if you have T-Net+DSL (T-Net = analog) or T-ISDN+DSL.

        Check out this web page for prices:

        http://www1.t-versand.de/intershoproot/eCS/TVers an d/en/images/rd/special/T-DSL_Preisuebersicht/start .html','width=750,height=645,toolbar=no,menubar=no ,scrollbars=no,resizeable=no,status=no,location=no '

        Hope this link works, otherwise try www.t-dsl.de, click on "DSL Preisübersicht".

        Cheapest T-Net+DSL rate = 33.71
        Cheapest T-ISDN+DSL rate = 36.98

        For 3 Euros more that means that you get all the coolness of having 2 phone lines instead of one.

      • Re:German DSL (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tundog (445786)

        Having just left Germany (was there for 3 years) the one thing you need to make sure of is that you set up ALL your phone options at the time you become a customer, otherwise they (Telekom) charge you this bullshit 100 Marks (50 euros) every time you make a change to your service.

        For example, I paid 50 euros top get my analog line. Then I moved 3 months later (another 50 Euros). Then I upgraded to ISDN (another 50 Euros) because DSL wasn't available at that time and is was faster than analog. Then, finally, another 50 euros to updgrade to DSL. This 50 euro fee is a super scam, especially considering all they have to do is flip a switch.

        In related news, get ready to get reamed on any retail-related transaction. In Germany, the customer is always wrong.

  • by g4dget (579145) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:11PM (#5420828)
    From traveling in Germany, my impression is that you are likely to be able to get DSL perhaps more easily than in the US. The computer stores also seemed to have comparable kinds of gadgets, at comparable prices, although technology still tends to be released in the US before Europe (but sometimes it's the other way around). In some technology areas, such as cell phones, Bluetooth, and wireless Internet access, it actually seems a bit better. Dial-up is also very easy, with a choice of no-subscription pay-as-you-go dial-ins and subscriber based services. Again, it seems like more choice than we get in the US.
  • UK (Score:5, Informative)

    by cs02rm0 (654673) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:13PM (#5420837)
    ADSL Guide UK [adslguide.org]
  • Deutsche Telekom (Score:5, Informative)

    by igotmybfg (525391) <{slashdot} {at} {danielthompson.net}> on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:14PM (#5420844) Homepage
    The best deal for DSL seems to be from Deutsche Telekom. They have several different rate plans, so make sure you pick the flate rate one. It's like 25E/month. You'll probably get screwed anyway, b/c Telekom is basically the worst company on Earth. Instead of help and courtesy, you get insults and insolence. So be prepared. Also, if you want to get a mobile phone, make sure you get service from Vodafone, (aka D2/Arcor/Mannesman) not Telekom. Vodafone's cheaper, has better coverage, and is a multinational carrier, although you usually don't have any problems with that in Europe. Cheers!
    • Re:Deutsche Telekom (Score:5, Informative)

      by FeloniousPunk (591389) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:31PM (#5420943)
      This needs to be emphasized more. I have never in my entire life had dealings with a worse pack of surly incompetents than Deutsche Telekom. They are utterly unreliable and chances are you are going to get plenty of overcharged bills and dealing with their customer service is harrowing, even if you speak fluent German. The only positive thing I have to say about them is that I got a free DSL modem from them as part of a promotion.
      I left Germany from the States in November and cancelled my phone and DSL service before I left. Yesterday in the mail I get a bill from them for February. Ah, Telekom.
      You have to deal with them to get the DSL line, but you should look into getting a different ISP. Depending on where you live, there are other broadband ISPs. Since your e-mail address is af.mil, I'm betting that you're off to Ramstein. That's not so good, as the only other choice is AOL.de. You have to live in the bigger cities to have a choice.
      I second igotmybfg's recommendation on cell phones - I had Vodafone D2 and was pleased with them. In fact, I like them better than my current US carrier, Verizon.
      Sorry to say, but you'll be pining for your Cox.net cable broadband in no time.
      • After living in Germany for I while I know what you mean about billing not stopping when you want it to. It's not restricted to Deutsche Telekom.

        My experience is that German companies don't understand customer service in the same sense we expect it here in North America.

        If you need to terminate an account, or contract or insurance or anything else doing it by phone despite them having customer phone service, generally doesn't work.

        The billing departments generally aren't up to speed and it can take a few months (if ever) for things to trickle from phone services to them.

        >>>> Cancel all contracts etc... in writing with a letter by mail (keep a copy).

        All that being said, I've had some nightmare companies here in Canada too... in particular
        ISPs. A friend of mine fought for months to cancel a particular ISP account...

        • It is also a legal issue. In general, German law doesn't allow for oral contracts. If you stay in Germany for a while you will notice that almost every significant transaction is covered by written contract including all leases and matters of employment.

          As a result, entering into or cancelling contracts over the phone are discouraged and you will find that most companies will ask you to either fax or mail a contract or cancellation request. Make sure you sign it too or you just wasted at lesat $.50 in postage or whatever you just paid for faxing it.

      • IF you read their term and service they reserve the right to bill again you up to after 2 years after a bill if there is a need to be a correction. For example they forgot 1 month of DSL of my bill+montage cost I got billed 15 monthes after.
  • My advice (Score:2, Redundant)

    As an American who is going to be living overseas for a few years (Germany, to be more exact), I'm curious as to what advice/information Slashdot could provide people like me.

    My advice is this: don't go.

    I have a close friend who got fed up with the constant state of (declining) flux here in the American technology job market. He'd had enough and figured to jump ship (no pun intended) and head over to Germany because everyone always said how nice Europe, especially Germany, was to work and live.

    Unfortunately, he soon found out that meager pay (relative to the cost of living) was very common, and bad benefits were even more common. He was pulling in barely $32,000 USD per year and was living week to week trying to get by paying bills and taking care of his wife and baby girl.

    I would advise you to please consider staying home. "The grass is always greener on the other side" as the popular saying goes. In this case, it firmly holds true.
    • Re:My advice (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chillmost (648301)
      My advice is this: go.

      I got the hell out as soon as I could after the Chimp was installed and I haven't looked back. Well, sometimes I miss Oreos and Reese's Peanut Buttercups. Mmmm.

      It sounds like Steve Suppe already has some sort of stable plan waiting for him when he gets there. But in the case of $$$exy's friend, it doesn't sound like it. Somebody with a wife and kid shouldn't even make the move without either having a job lined up, or enough money in the bank to take intense (4 hours a day, 5 days a week) German lessons for the first 4 months. You have to first learn German to such the extent that you can communicate and even schedule a job interview. What also helps is a German friend who understands the bureaucracy and knows how to deal with it. I had to apply in order to apply for a drivers license. How whack is that?

      The job market is bad (where is it not?) but if you have skills in IT and are good at what you do, and speak English, you should be alright. At the job your gonna have to speak German but if you can read the online manuals in English before the German ones are published, you will have an advantage. It might sound somewhat elitist to say that but in IT a fluent grasp of English goes a long way.

      The average salary is less than in the states and about 40% percent of my check is taxed, but I have 35 paid vacation days every year, and better health benefits than I will ever have in the US. Plus a 38 hour work week. That's just with public health insurance.

      Its a big change in your life to make but if you prepare ahead and do your research, the transition can be much smoother.

      Oh yeah and when you get there and need DSL, I recommend looking up Telkom or Arcor.

  • by Dylan2000 (592069) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:17PM (#5420859) Homepage
    I pay (I think) around 30 euros per month for 768/128 ADSL flatrate. I'm only not sure how much cause my girlfriend takes care of all of that stuff since I'm far too important (and it's all too complicated for me cause I'm also too dumb).

    check out T-DSL [t-dsl.de], the service offered by the German Telekom, which is the phone company and also the biggest ISP. We got our cable modem thrown in for free when we signed up, don't know if they'll still give you that and they gave us a good price on a router/ISDN system/hub/ISDN modem/USB NIC wonderbox bursting with flashing lights too.

    The german might be a problem when filling out the forms but most of the support people on the phone will be able to speak english
  • This much I know. They have some built in ready to run config scripts for most German ISPs, including dial-up, cable and DSL. (From a somebody which runs SuSE on their server) Too bad they were useless to me, as I live in Canada.

    • While SuSE (being a mostly German distribution) is well prepared for German dial-ups (and used to be way ahead of others in ISDN support since ISDN is widely used in Germany), support for Linux users is pretty good from a number of providers such as this one [freenet.de].
  • Broadband in UK (Score:4, Informative)

    by Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:19PM (#5420874)
    ADSL where available [bt.com] either direct from BT [bt.com] or [clara.net] several [freeserve.com] resellers [demon.net] (there are loads more). 512 down / 128 up costs about GBP 30.00 / month give or take.

    There are two major cable operators in the uk, ntl: [askntl.com] and Telewest [telewest.co.uk]. Both offer cable modem in almost all areas of their networks for about GBP 25.00 / month for 512 and 40.00 / month for 1M.

    ntl couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery [nthellworld.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:19PM (#5420878)
    If you live Italy, in one of the following cities:
    Milan and province, Rome, Turin, Bologna, Naples and Genoa, thanks to FastWeb [fastweb.it] you can get 10Mbit optical fiber Internet access for about $70/mo (67 euros/mo).

    Quite cheap and works like a charm :-)
  • Germany: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:21PM (#5420890)
    Over here in Germany, connectivity is actually no real problem:

    Wired:
    - Analoge and Digital (ISDN) lines, while ISDN is much more popular nowadays. Deutsche Telekom provides most of the normal telephone connections. Visit http://www.telekom.de . Prices for a regular ISDN line are about 25/$ a month for 2 phone lines with a total of 3 phone numbers. Setup is around 50/$.
    - ADSL is a widely available option for either analoge or digital phonelines. Deutsche Telekom provides an ADSL-line for about 10 a month on top of your phonebill.
    - Flatrates for ADSL are around 20-30 on top of the phonebill which already includes the charge for your ADSL-line.

    Wireless:
    -WLAN hotspots are coming up everywhere in big and small cities since some months. It's quite amazing how many nodes you can find within a day of WarDriving around Frankfurt, i.e.
    -CellServices provide almost a complete coverage of the whole country. GPRS is widely available but still a little on the pricy side: 5cent for 10kb with my cell-provider "O2". Cell rates are usually 10-20 a month, calling-costs not included (average bill around 50 , if you don't hug the phone 24/7)

    Hope this helps.

    To get into much more detail visit:

    http://www.billiger-surfen.de (cheaper-surfing)
    http://www.onlinekosten.de (onlinecost)
    http://www.mobileaccess.de
    http://w ww.telekom.de
    http://www.heise.de

    or go

    http://www.google.de

    and help yourself. ;-)

    enjoy germany!

    -benny
  • You will get pretty damn good pricing, if you go to the right area that offers it. Down here in Italy we have to wait for the Phone company to decide if they want to install it or not. I know around Frankfurt you can get a 100k connection for around 18 Euros.
  • Some Info (Score:5, Informative)

    by germanbirdman (159018) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:26PM (#5420913)
    OK,

    When you get a phone, get at from the Deutsche Telekom and not from any other local carrier.
    Why? Their rates might suck, but only if you use Deutsche Telekom can you use ALL call by call carriers which are billed by the normal telephone bill. The majority you can use without registering at the other phone company, so basically you check out which operator is the cheapest for a call, pick up the phone, and dial.

    Calls to the US start at 4 cents per minute using Call by Call.

    To check the cheapest rate and which call by caller operator to use, checkout www.teltarif.de

    ISDN phone lines are very popular over here, you can get a special rate that calls on Sunday are free within Germany. These can also be used to call up an internet provider with "normal" telephone number. www.teltarif.de also has a list of these which you can use together with usernames/password.

    Local phone calls are NOT free.

    Internet dialup you also usually use call by call ones. Check out www.billiger-surfen.de to find out which operator is cheapest. Cheap ones start like 1 cent per minute. That's about the best rate you can get.

    Flatrates for internet dialups do not exist.

    Broadband:

    DSL is the way to go, you need to get the DSL line from the Deutsche Telekom. And in addition to that, you must subscribe to an Online service, either the Deutsche Telekom's own (T-Online) where a 768kbit down/128kbit up costs 29.99 Euros per month with no limit regarding time or bandwidth. Note that this flatrate is not available if you use the 1500up/192kdown service. 1und1 (www.1und1.de) has better deals if you have less traffic.

    Basically, for an ISDN telephone with the calls free on Sunday plus DSL 768Kbit, you would pay 41.27 Euros a month. Add to that the online rate (29,99 for t-online dsl flat)

    If you sign up at 1und1.de you get a free USB DSL Modem, for 9.95 you get an ISDN telephone switch to which you can connect analogue phones to, and they pass on your request to the Deutsche Telekom. You also have to pay a setup fee, which is charged by the Deutsche Telekom, but doing it with 1und1 currently offers the best deal.

    Hope this helps.

    • Local phone calls are NOT free.

      Depends. In case you're in the south west, you might use the carrier Tesion [tesion.de]. They offer a so-called "Phone&Surf" package in some regions, allowing for free local calls -- not including data connections though (despite the name). Of course you'd have to check the prices for yourself to see whether it is a viable option for you.

  • I'm an Australian who lived in America for most of my life and there became a bandwidth junkie, but now I live in Germany.

    The transition has been totally smooth. German Deutsche-Telekom sell flat-rate DSL, and it's pretty good in my region - at least as good as what I was used to in LA.

    There is less after-market competition - i.e. small regional ISP's, but some parts of Germany have good regional nets. Not really here in the Ruhr, my understanding is that its mostly DT.
  • Serious Answer (Score:5, Informative)

    by tigersha (151319) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:32PM (#5420947) Homepage
    Geez Louise,

    This thread is really getting on me ninnies...

    Anyways, I live as an expat in Germany. DSL is trivial to get, try Deutsche Telekom although I do not not know if they are exactly the cheapest.

    There is a website that contains a list of all the
    German DSL providers (there are loads) but it is in German. Google for it (try DSL Deutschland). 768/128 DSL is available almost anywhere, and some providers (yahoo) does 1500 as well.

    As far a cellphones are concerned the service is very good, but do yourself a favour and get a contract from Viag Interkom (now O2). They are the best, especially with their Genion at Home thingie. That is quite cheap.

    It is possible to dial fairly cheap. www.billigtelefonieren.de should give you all the details you want on that, again, in German. You usually dial with a prefix code to get the different providers.

    If you do not want to go DSL, ISDN is very much more wide-spread and cheap than in the US and pay-per call may be mucho cheaper than a DSL, depending on how much you are online. Now that DSL is getting very popular you can get cheapo ISDN cards second hand. ISDN is pretty OK for most things anywa, and with it you can call for free on Sundays for a few Euros per month extra.

    Telekom does take a few weeks to install DSL due to a serious demand-driven backlog (and the !"!"ers do NOT tell you that they have done it, you have to try to see if it works!) but ISDN install is fairly quick (2 days in my case)

    Telekom has been banned as of last year to give away DSL modems for free (it was stifling competition) so now you have to pay, a small DSL box with a router with 4 ports that can do masquerading and set with a web box is available for about 70 Euros, and one with a wireless port as well for about 200 (At media markt). I picked up an old Pentium 100 for 25 euros and Linux it and put up a ethernet card and a hub to use as a DSL router behind Deutsche Telekom DSL, works fine but at that time the routers were still expensive so a crouter is probably the cheapets way to go.

    You can also get a hosted server (a complete Linux box with full root control) for 39 Euros per month.

    Computers are generally more expensive than in the states but not too much. You can pretty much find everything you need, try www.arlt.com to get a feel for prices. (I buy there, do not work for them).

    If you wish to know more, drop my a line on my home page.

  • I too am an American going to live abroad, but in Canberra, Australia. How much for DSL? Who should I get it thru? And whgat the hell is the deal with metered accounts there?!? Everyplace I've been able to find thus far allows 500megs a month for a reasonable rate, then gouges you to high hell for anything over that!? What gives! Oh yea, and thanks!
    • Try looking here (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hecatonchires (231908)
      http://www.broadbandchoice.com.au/

      It is a subsite of http://www.whirlpool.net.au/
      Whirlpool was originally a user bitch forum for Telstra Bigpond, but expanded to cover most of Australia's broadbnad ISP's. The forums at whirlpool are a good measure of customer satisfaction.

      Stay away from Telstra - they prefer to use a sandpaper condom on their phallus.

    • check out www.whirlpool.net.au

      then just go to www.iinet.net.au and signup :P

      iinet have the best value plans at the moment
    • You have 3 broadband choices in Canberra, depending on your suburb:

      1. TransACT - A local high speed broadband fibre network. You have to pay TransACT for the connection, then an ISP for internet (the cable from TransACT also provides TV and Phone).
      Unfortunately they bandwidth is currently capped at 512kb, and all the ISPs are braindead when it comes to Broadband, and think that a 500meg limit will work.

      2. Satelite via telstra. Not sure how much it costs....but it's Satelite, and so you probably don't want it anyway.

      3. ADSL
      There's two main providers - Telstra and Netspace.
      Telstra offer 512kb for about $100 a month with a 3GB limit before they start charging extra (I'm currently on this plan, since they were the only option at the time).
      Netspace will give you 512kb for around $100 a month with 4Gig peak, and 7 gig offpeak, and they throw in a dialup account too. They also offer 1.5Mb for $150.
      If you're looking for broadband in Canberra, and cant get or don't want TransACT, then Netspace ADSL is definitely the way to go.
    • Thanks for all of your input! I really appricate it! I have done some research previous to the posting. In a perfect world I would have included this info in the first post (stupid non-perfect world).

      The best bet I've seen pricing and server host-ability wise (I've got a FTP/DNS/Web/etc server to throw on the line) is FunnelWeb [funnelwebinternet.com.au]. Anyone have any experience with them? I kinda fancy their 512/128 @ $67 AUD/month (although with that damned 500meg download limit), but it does include a static IP.

      So... Canberra, least 128 downstream, least 500meg download/month, static IP? Anyone? I'll be checking out these providers in the next day or 2. Thanks again for all the help!

  • by PSL (519746) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @07:40PM (#5420983) Homepage
    Forget broadband... rent a nice MB/BMW/Audi and hit the fastest roads in the world.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Keep your American status as low-key as possible. People will obviously be able to tell that you're from the US or Canada (or at least SOME english speaking country), but people are generally willing to accept you as a good (or bad) person regardless of your home, unless you make comments about how "America is saving the world."

    Think this post is stupid? I've seen it happen too often. While wandering through the streets of Paris, I heard an American traveller comment to her husband about how "these people can't even get a Big Mac right!" Other countries have the same problem with their citizens abroad (England is a close second, Germany third in my opinion) but the US has a reputation for it and people will NOT give you a second chance if you make an arrogant comment.

    Aside from that, have fun and soak up the culture.
  • Italy to Japan (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bios_Hakr (68586) <xpticalNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday March 02, 2003 @08:32PM (#5421232) Homepage
    I spent several years in Italy. The internet access there was 33.6 dialup when I arrived. The worst part about it was the fact that there is no "local call" there. Every call is charged by the minute.

    Around '96, the ISP upgraded to 56k modems. In late '97 Telecom Italia offered ISDN. the line to the house was 2B+D (128kbps), but in traditional Italian fassion, they fucked it all up. You still had to pay connections per minute, and each channel was charged seperately. A 128k connection to my local ISP was about 2 or 3 cents per minute.

    Telecom Italia upgraded, once agian, to ADSL in 2000. And, once agian, they fucked it up. They implemented ADSL using PPPoE. If you have not used PPPoE, your modem establishes a connection using a username/password. ISPs do this so they can monitor how much bandwidth you use. I paid $50 per month for the line, and another $50 per gigabyte of traffic.

    I figured all my problems were over when I moved to Japan. Unfortunately, I live in an area (in Tokyo) that is not covered by DSL. I pay $30/month for 90 hours of 56k dialup. My only other real option is to use a cell phone to get wireless service at a cost of $100/month for 128k access. I have tried this, but the actual bandwidth is about 70kbps and the packet loss and delay is way too high to make it useful.

    A new ISP is talking about wiring our neghborhood for 128kbps SDSL. They have mentioned a 1GB per month cap with no way to go over that ammount. They also want $50 per month with a $150 install cost. What really makes it hurt is that they guy down the street from me (150 feet away, but no LOS for a 2.4ghz link) pays $35/month for 100mbps fiber. Yep, he actually has fiber running into a modem sitting on his desk.

    Sometimes, I wonder who I pissed off to get so screwed on internet access...

    • "Telecom Italia upgraded, once agian, to ADSL in 2000. And, once agian, they fucked it up. They implemented ADSL using PPPoE. If you have not used PPPoE, your modem establishes a connection using a username/password. ISPs do this so they can monitor how much bandwidth you use."

      ISPs like PPPoE because it acts as an additional layer, allowing you to treat a broadband network like a dialup network. There is less investment in infrastructure. It allows for easier dynamic reallocation of IP addresses. With PPPoE you are not 'online all the time' and you have to install a fscking client on your machine (typically win32 or mac only) to use it, although now most broadband routers support it as well.

      " Sometimes, I wonder who I pissed off to get so screwed on internet access..."

      I mentioned this earlier, but I'll say it here: You are not screwed for internet access. I am, because the best I can get is 28.8K which happens to be shared across a 6 machine LAN at home.

    • What really makes it hurt is that they guy down the street from me (150 feet away, but no LOS for a 2.4ghz link) pays $35/month for 100mbps fiber.

      Waveguide?

  • by The Ape With No Name (213531) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @08:40PM (#5421264) Homepage
    I spend each summer in Slovenia doing fieldwork for my graduate degree. Luckily, I have hooked up with a faculty at Univerza v Ljubljani [uni-lj.si]. So I just go to an office and use my laptop. But if you don't have it good like that, my advice is to be careful according to your locale. The American model for dial-up is different from much of the rest of the world. I was shocked to get a phone bill with several hundred minutes of dialup charges for using the phone line AS WELL AS the minutes for connection to the internet. I only know dial-up but my advice in Slovenija is: pazi!.

    Also, a caveat to travelers in Slovenia. Internet cafes are kinda non-existant in Ljubljana. You can get online at the Mobitel office across from Mladinska Knjigarna and in the Mueller department store just down the street from the Posta bus stop. That's about it for regularly available spots. If anybody knows of any place that isn't closed or half-open or generally flaky, let me know.
  • by sbryant (93075) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @08:44PM (#5421288)

    I'm in Germany, and was going to write about IDSN and DSL, but given that everybody and their dog has already done that, here's some other advice:

    • Beaurocracy!

      Lots of it. You need the right piece of paper with the right stamp on it, or things don't happen. Probably the worst thing about Germany, this.

    • Learn German!

      Yes, lots of them do speak English, but that's no reason for being lazy. As soon as you have to do anything important, you'll probably find yourself needing to communicate with someone who doesn't speak English. A little German will go a long way, especially in terms of the impression you make.

    • Get your lane discipline sorted.

      Cruise on the right, overtake on the left, and then move back to the right. If there's a BMW behind you flashing his lights, don't worry too much - BMW drivers are like that. If it's some other make of car, you're going to slow - get out of that lane! They make nice cars in Stuttgart, by the way.

    • Watch out for speed cameras

      They take your photo from the front, so there's no "it wasn't me" excuses. There are both stationary cameras on posts and mobile units (hidden in hedges or wherever). More than 30km/h over the limit can result in a 1 month driving ban.

    • Watch your speed on the Autobahn

      Not all of the Autobahn has no speed limit. Where there is one, it's clearly marked. Where there isn't one, enjoy yourself! Be aware that having no speed limit doesn't often help, due to the volume of traffic (and the guy three cars ahead, going way too slow in the overtaking lane).

    • Most bottles have a deposit on them

      So take them back to the supermarket. Germans like to buy drinks by the crate. Look for a "Getränkemarkt" if you're thirsty.

    • German beer is stronger than US beer

      Purity laws and all that. The lack of nasty chemicals means you can get hammered and not have a major hangover next morning. Make sure you get to the world's biggest Fest - the Oktoberfest in München (not called Munich on Germany!), or the second biggest - the Volksfest in Stuttgart. If you want an English-speaking pub, look for an "Irish Pub". It's a chain (I think). There are quite a lot now; they stock Guiness too.

    • There are no Reeses Pieces

      If you find somewhere that sells them, post it on Slashdot :-)

    • Not as many really fat people

      This one will only hit you when you go back to the US...

    • There are no Reeses Pieces

      Amazing. Here in San Antonio, I bitch because its nearly impossible to find good german candy. And you're over there in Germany and you're bitching because you can't buy the crappy, proletariat-grade U.S. vending machine stuff.

      Would you like to set up a trade?
  • china (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sonatinas (308999)
    In china I paid 350 yuan (44$) for the first month because i had to pay for the modem, subsequent months I paid only 200 yuan(24$) for unlimited access through an ADSL line. My u/d is pretty good, I have sent files to people in the states at 50k/s and downloaded files at 160 k/s. There is one catch however, blocked sites such as sorceforce and certain news sites.
  • by Snoopy77 (229731) on Sunday March 02, 2003 @09:03PM (#5421356) Homepage
    .... don't tell anyone you're an American.
    • Learn the works "no...I'm canadian"

      At least that's what I read on some other site talking about Americans travelling overseas.
      • That can work to a certain extent but our family was eating out here in Oz the other night and a North American waitress was serving us. We all guessed that she was Canadian from her accent and we were spot on. There are subtle differences between the two.

        What's more, what USian would bring themselves to deny their own country of origin? There have been times when I've had to say, "I'm Australian .... sorry."
  • A few sites (Score:2, Informative)

    by allolex (563588)

    When I first moved to Germany in 1994, there was little information available for expatriots. It was all pretty much learning by doing. I recently spent about a year and a half in LA and returned to Germany at the end of last year with my girlfriend, who does not speak German. While looking for orientation materials for her (actually an experienced expat), I discovered that the amount of information has expanded greatly.

    One really useful site is How To Germany [howtogermany.com], which includes a brief overview and a nice link to an online comparison chart [focus.msn.de]. The best computer magazin in the world [heise.de] had an entire section devoted to the best and cheapest DSL/cable internet service at the end of last year. Unfortunately, you will have to learn German to read the article (The issue's TOC is here [heise.de], if you want it---and this is reason enough to want to learn German.)

  • I'm living in Tokyo and would suggest going for broadband and a mobile phone forget about a regular landline phone.

    Through companies like Vonage, IConnectHere or Packet8 you can get a US phone number for about $20/month including plenty of minutes for US calls. You also get very low rates to the US (since it thinks you have a US line) and reasonable rates to germany. The quality with a Cisco ATA186 is as good as a landline or with a softphone (headset) is cell-phone like supercheap. And you can just use your mobile phone for calls to germany.

  • Internet in Sweden (Score:2, Informative)

    by Daniel_E (75554)
    We have lots of different providers offering different access technologies. Some are good, some are very good and a few are exceptional. :-)

    * Dial-up
    Dial-up is mostly dead. You never see any ads for it anymore. Usually charged at the same per-minute rate as phone-calls (2c/min). No distinction is made between local calls and long-distance anymore, they cost the same (most of the cost is in the local loop anyway).

    * Cable
    There are a number of different cable operators. They all have different prices and plans, but it's very common to pay between $20 and $30 for the basic connection (which usually is between 512/128 and 1024/512, all depending on local operator). Available in most cities.

    * DSL
    One major operator (Telia) has had what can only be described as a monopoly on DSL service. It is getting better, and local DSLAMs from other operators are being set up in the markets with the biggest customer base (large cities). Telia offers a 512/512 plan for about $35 with no UL/DL restrictions. Other operators are now offering DSL up to 2.5M/512, but at a premium and usually only in large cities. Availability is pretty good, and service has been very reliable for all of my friends.

    * Ethernet
    Several municipalities have set up local fiber or Ethernet networks in the cities. I happen to live in Gavle, the city with perhaps the best local network of them all. Unfortunately I don't live in a house connected to the network. We also have a few other operators that install Ethernet, the biggest being BBB (Bredbandsbolaget). Prices range from $20 to $50. Personally I have a 2M/2M connection that costs $22 (100Mbit Ethernet in my apartment, router in basement that does bandwidth limiting, 155Mbit fiber to local POP for the backbone, VERY nice RTT to most places around the globe).

    * Wireless
    Don't really know how the market looks like for wireless access points. Haven't seen much about it.
  • I'm going to be visiting Germany this summer, and while I won't be living there, I'm going to need to access a computer to stay in contact with people I know in the US. I'll be staying in Potsdam for a few weeks and then traveling around to Munich and then up the Rhine for a while. I'll be mainly staying in hostels while not in Potsdam. Anybody know how I could find places to access a computer while I'm there? I don't need much, just the ability to access my email.

    I have friends in Potsdam, so that leg of the trip isn't a problem. And I do speak quite a bit of German, so throw those links this way!
  • LUGs, etc. would be of interest as well. thanks
  • Every other country in the world likes to think they are superior to the U.S. Let them. You will never win the argument. Always remember - eventually you get to go home. They are always stuck with what they have.
  • by Florian Weimer (88405) <fw@deneb.enyo.de> on Monday March 03, 2003 @06:20AM (#5422953) Homepage
    In Germany, dynamic vs. static IP addresses are used to separate business and private Internet connectivity (and dynamic addresses are reassigned every 24 hours). For some applications, this doesn't matter, of course. Actually, business Internet access isn't too expensive either, but you usually pay per volume, so you can't afford all this P2P stuff...

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