Upon my arrival to Poland I was borrowing internet from Karolina’s house. She put her wireless routers’ antenna in the window and with a clear line of sight I was able to pick up a weak, albeit working signal to at least check my mail. A few days later I visited a local phone company’s office to set up my own connection. I was shown a price list with connection speeds varying from 1 to 6mb/s. While 2mb/s was reasonably priced, being an internet hog I went for 6mb/s instead. Happy with my choice, I went home and kept resetting my DSL model to see if it’s working already.
The very next day I got a call from the main office saying my pick of 6mbs will not work in my area as I am too far from the hub. To make things even more interesting, I was told that even 2mbs won’t work, but 512kb/s is the maximum I can get in my area. The only other option I had here was getting a paid WiFi internet but after some discussions with current and former owners of that service I found out that it’s “not reliable” at best leaving you with days without a connection for no apparent reason. So 512kb/s is how I roll now in Poland.
Yesterday I talked to someone who just hooked up a 32mb/s connection to their apartment here in Wrocław. I truly wanted to cry. While I could never live in a 10 story apartment brick, their internet is light years ahead of what I’ve got. It’s simple math to the internet companies. They go into one 10 story apartment building and pretty much get 20-30 subscribers right away. The cost per subscriber is minimal. In the suburbs like mine, they need to compete for every house, laying down miles of new wire and hoping for a customer.
I can’t even imagine what 32mb/s feels like. Maybe it’s better this way, I need to read more books anyhow 😦