Yippee, well it has taken us a year to get it, but we finally have an ADSL connection courtesy of Telecom Italia (Alice) in the depths of the Abruzzo’s Gran Sasso Mountains and it’s soooooooooooooooo fast! It makes our connection in London feel like you are riding a tortoise or some sort of pre-historic dialup.
Telecom Italia announced in Autumn 2008 that it was possible to get an ADSL connection up in Bascianella so we went online when in London and tried… but each time we tried the Telecom Italia database told us that ADSL wasn’t possible yet within the requested area of Teramo; sadly their online database wasn’t as up-to-date as their press & advertising department … be warned!
So we did what every good Italian knows wasn’t invented by ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire,’ but by everyone living in Italy and phoned a friend, an Italian one at that. She tried from Rome, but she was told that we’d have to go to our local Telecom Italia shop where they would be able to manually override the system as they couldn’t do that in the national sales dept.
We went down to Teramo to the local Telecom Italia shop and filled in forms which took a little while, as anybody will know who has had the experience of filling in forms in Italy. We waited for the quadruple printout and were told to expect a connection within 30 days… at this point we anticipated all done and up and running by March 2009.
It got to the end of February and we still hadn’t heard anything, no paper, no emails, nothing. We couldn’t call from the UK as there is no international customer service number, so we asked for help from another Italian friend whose friend actually worked for Telecom Italia. He looked for our application on the Telecom Italia database, where it was sat, but sadly very much in the purgatory of data, nothing in the application was pending activation, so it wasn’t sitting on the ACTION lists of any telecom engineers looking to install ADSL lines in the local villages. He gave it some tlc and got it live on the system but for some unknown reason didn’t manage to book appointments for any of the week ranges that we would be in Abruzzo, they fell the day before we arrived or the day after we had left then, then everything got unsurprisingly cancelled due to the horrific earthquake.
By the time we thought it apt to chase again it was the beginning of June, appointments were made nobody turned up, once, twice; I screamed and shouted how difficult could it be to install an adsl line in Abruzzo. In August, after another failed appointment, all that shouting drove our ever friendly and helpful neighbour Gianluca and his wife Loredana our way, and it is both of them who should receive an award for being Good Samaritans to some pansy English people unable to sort out their own ADSL line fitting.
Gianluca took control of Telecom Italia and managed to get a commitment that involved a ‘date’ of installation, they even wanted to speak to me in English to double confirm the date! We booked to fly over to Abruzzo again, and on our arrival were told by his parents that he had received a SMS the day before, late evening, cancelling the appointment till the following week – when of course we weren’t in Abruzzo. The air turned blue thankfully this time by a man in blue too (Gianluca is a policeman)!
He arranged with his lovely wife Loredana for Telecom Italia to come out the following week and she would act as proxy for us. No SMS to cancel the appointment so things were looking promising, she waited patiently, and SUCCESS, they finally arrived and installed the wiring! And the moral of the story speedy ADSL lines come to all those who wait but you really do have to wait, so don’t get angry, get patient!
Cost for ADSL via Telecom Italia Alice 7mg – €30 per month including telephone – their deals seem to change daily to view – www.187.it
Alternatives: skyDSL – c€25 per month for the most basic set up, there are plenty of 1-man bands out there offering alternative satellite adsl provision on average €40 per month + cost of installation, best to really ask your neighbours who they know and is recommended!