Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Decision

It looks like I'm headed to Nice tomorrow. I guilted myself into it with a little bit of help from the belle-famille. Stay tuned for my return (for one night) to Gallargues le Montueux, because afterwards we might have a bit of trouble getting our DSL hookup. Why? Let's just say that the last time we got DSL, we waited two months before we could finally log on. (Jube says I'm too nice--it was more like four months according to him.)

It all has to do with the politics of the telephone here in France. For years and years all telephone service was provided by France Telecom, which even today still has the monopoly on landlines (it runs you 13€99 a month for a dial tone). Then they charge you by the minute to make any telephone call at all, something like 0€03 a minute for local, and running as high as 0€36 to call a cell phone. Recently the phone service was privatized, so you can get much cheaper deals by paying another company to handle your calls--while still paying 13€99 for your telephone line, of course. What does this have to do with DSL? France Telecom has its own DSL service, which is not the cheapest. It is, however, the most convenient. To get DSL at your house, you must have a technician come to your house. This technician is a France Telecom employee, no matter what company you use. Get it? They can make you wait as long as possible. It's not the fault of the company you're using, it's France Telecom's fault. And lots of people give up on the cheaper DSL just to get some internet action at the house. We'll see what happens this time around...

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