Ireland vs Cambodia: Setting up a net connection

My previous experience in getting net access covered two continents, today I hopefully will add a third continent to that list.

Mostly I’ve had net access set up in Ireland and my net connection in Canada back in 2001 is a distant memory (the main memory being that my 2001 Canadian connection was faster than my Irish 2008 connection).

In Ireland it tends to go like this: call phone company and ask for broadband; phone company gets you to jump through some hoops and grovel before stating that you’ll be connected in about two or three weeks; three weeks pass and you still don’t have a connection, you call the phone company, sit on hold for about an hour before being disconnected just as you get put through; after you smash something in a fit of rage, you call them back, eventually speaking to someone who plucks a time from the air and assures you you’ll have a connection soon, you bite your tongue as it’s not really the call centre drone’s fault; this process of calling and various excuses being trotted out continues for a random number of weeks (may as well take the first number drawn from next week’s Lotto as an indication of how long it will take you to get broadband), until eventually you’re connected.

That’s a standard case. Personally I’ve experienced sagas with being forced to choose dial-up, not receiving the ‘always-on’ package I requested, and then chasing ESAT BT for 2 years for my refund after spending EUR350 in 2 months on regular dial-up calls; Digiweb assuring us there was no download cap and then throttling us to dial-up speed; Last Mile being incredibly shit; Arden Brisknet being a beacon of light and then becoming shit between noon and midnight every day (the improved again though); along with various other deb├ícle along the way usually involving Eircom or ESAT incompetence.

Jump to Cambodia. I can’t say too much about it yet, but there are a few provisos. Speeds are a lot lower than those theoretically available in Ireland, but thus far I’ve been very happy with my office connection running at 512kb synchronously. I can make Skype calls whilst remotely connecting to a client’s desktop. Yes, 1Gb music software updates take about four to five hours to download whereas our current connection in Longford can do that in about 20-25 minutes, but still I’m content. It is also true that every connection runs through a proxy which causes weird issues with content caching.

However, today I rang Ezecom to place an order for WiMax broadband, my call was answered immediately, the operator took my name, phone number, and the package name I required and stated that a technical engineer would call me back to arrange an appointment. 3 minutes later I received a call from the engineer. He took my address and checked what time would suit me for him to call round. I hesitantly said “I’m at home all day, so whatever time suits you”, he replied with “2pm?”.

My god Gary, is this true? I may have broadband within two to three hours of placing an order?

I’ll update you on how it goes, but right now it’s looking good.

A shame on Irish telcos (or should I say, a plague on Irish telcos), for too long you’ve held a position of power where the consumer is your plaything, breeding the opposite of the required services mentality. How did this happen? Why is the Irish consumer desperately grateful when the telco decides to bestow internet access upon thee?

Today’s ordering experience was a delight, but only because I’m an Irishman used to being abused by almighty telcos.

Update

Ok, I don’t quite have internet. Seems I misunderstood something. Rather than a technical engineer coming round it was a sales guy with the paperwork for me to fill out. Apparently I’ll have a tech guy round either tomorrow evening or Wednesday morning. Still pretty good in my books.

Update 2

They’re here already! Now that’s what I call service. Hopefully the install goes smoothly and then all that’s remaining is to get a WiFi router for the house. No more slow Edge network browsing on my phone at home!

Update 3: 16:40 4th May 2010

From order to internet connection in my home in around 27 hours. Not bad going. Cambodia 1 – Ireland 0.

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