Over the last six months we have watched helplessly in horror as every day our internet speed has decreased.  Several calls to our service provider have been unsuccesful in resolving the problem.  They are a large communications organisation, but incpable of communicating.  No matter how calm I remain, at the slightest hint of a complaint they put the phone down.

Our electrician, has a friend who works for the said telecommunications company, and he kindly offered to run a test on our line and confirmed that it is indeed faulty.  This time I tried a new approach and ‘phoned up to complain about the telephone line.  Faulty telephone lines are a common problem in the countryside in Italy, but why when much of the cabling is new? – Oh yes it is because the exchange is distant, well is that not the case in other countries which receive excellent download speeds – I guess not, or perhaps they have modern exchanges and fibre optic cables.

My electrician lives in part of a large house, which is shared with his parents and his brother’s family.  Recently the electrician reported a fault on his telephone line, an engineer called and restored service.  The following afternoon, his father discovered that his telephone no longer worked, and reported the fault.  Now you know what I am going to write, yes correct the same problem subsequently happened to his brother.  It seems that there are insufficient connections for the telephone lines sold, so the organisation presumably just switches one line to another.  Fine if you live in an area full of holiday homes, but here we all live permanently.

Last Friday I spent two hours at the citizens advice centre, and together we drafted and sent a fax – yes a fax – remember them? the only way one can communicate with the organisation, detailing the problems and requesting a rebate on the account.

On saturday I was called by a telephone engineer who was checking our connection at the exchange.  We pay for 7mb but are currently receiving just 0.52mb, making it very difficult to navigate the internet or use email.  He reported that all was ok at the exchange and blamed the poor connection on the distance from the exchange.  Strange because to my knowledge the house and exchange have not been moved and the connection used to be faster, maybe not much, but faster.

The engineer was determined to sort the problem and two hours later arrived at Bellaugello Guest House.  He suggested my disconecting the telephones, VOIP phone and connect a computer to the modem by cable – so convenient.  We did disconnect everything peripheral but the speed did not increase.  The engineer informed me that we could never receive more than 0.800mb download, but we pay for 7mb I replied. Ever determined the engineer called the main exchange, quoted our connection number only to be informed, ‘but that number does not have ADSL we don’t know how they are receiving any signal’!!!!!!!!!

So who is right? Whose ADSL line will be downgraded? Will our connection speed increase? For how long? Why have they taken money off us for a service they now puportedly admit to not providing? They tell me all will be sorted within ten days, I’ll keep you posted, that is if there is still a connection………

We looked into satelite connection, but they seem to think it reasonable to charge us for the service the price of sending the satelite into orbit, and cannot guarantee a connection 100% of the time.

Oh and yes we have tried to connect with an antenna system, but alas the only signal that passes Bellaugello Country House is owned by the ministry of the interior, and after last night’s incident in Milan when Silvio Berlusconi was hit in the face by a ‘madman’, I guess their bandwidth is completely occupied.

I’m off to find out about breeding carrier pigeons.

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