From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






Skype: "ericandjamie"



Monday, October 25, 2010

Internet Hook Up

There are basically 2 main services you can purchase to have Internet in your villa. STC, Saudi Telecom, which is a DSL line that runs through a phone line in your villa, and ITC, Integrated Telecom, which uses a satellite Internet feed.

STC offers 4mb speed, which the US offered a billion years ago but is pretty fast for Saudi standards, but STC is hassle to deal with and the connection can be less reliable. It is also more expensive running almost $100/month for just Internet, ouch.

ITC has only a 2mb speed, is a little cheaper, and more reliable. I had really wanted to use the higher speed Internet, but after speaking STC on the phone a few times and really getting nowhere, I resigned to using ITC.

I had a taxi driver take me to where everyone else signed up for ITC. It was in a Novotel Business Center near the next city about a 15 minute taxi ride away. I waited until after the afternoon prayer and figured the door would open. I called the number on the door and they said they would open at 4:30. After 4:45, I called again and was told I was actually at the wrong location, so in the taxi I go back to Khobar where the location was actually only about 2 miles from the villa.

I paid cash for 6 months of 2mb speed and was told that they would be there the next day to hook it up. I was excited because I thought we might have Internet in our villa for the UT/UGA game. My TV was ready to go!

They did not come on Saturday and was told they would come on Sunday. They did come on Sunday… at 9:30 pm and proceeded to drill into the concrete walls on the roof to install the satellite. They finally stopped drilling at 10:10 pm and left at 10:40 promising the technician would come in the next day. General labor contracting and technician contracting.

Our 2mb runs just fine and is somewhat reliable. Slingbox doesn’t work that well, but we are hoping that ITC bumps up to 4 or more mbs soon so we can have a stronger signal and faster downloads.

Overall, another frustrating experience dealing with hooking up Internet. We’ll stick with ITC in hopes that they can increase their speed.

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