- Officialization 1: WTF comes next in Italy?
- Officialization 2: Apartment
- Officialization 3: Internet <— You are here
- Officialization 4: Stay Permit, part I
- Officialization 5: Picking Courses
- Officialization 6: Stay Permit, part II
My new apartment doesn’t have Internet yet, so this is something separate that I have to set up. I found four different Internet providers in the area and visited each of them: TIM, Fastweb, Infostrada, and Vodafone.
Each had a variety of pay-as-you-go options, capped at a certain amount of gigs per month, where you use a local SIM in your phone. For example, an average offer was around 15Gb per month for around 10 euro, plus activation cost. Only some of the shops (Infostrada I think) had cheap burner phones that you could buy to toss that SIM into.
Of course, those caps aren’t going to work for home internet that my husband and I both have to do work on. In terms of more permanent options, none of the ones available were very good (of course). In general, they looked approximately like this:
- Around 25 euro for a reported 50Mbps down/10Mbps up (I’m sure it would be less than that in practice). Note that some websites claim that 1Gbps down is available, but this does not seem to be the case in Rovereto.
- Installation costs of over 100 euro
- Additional cost of over 100 euro total for the modem (spread over the time of the contract).
- Contracts for 4 years. If you break the contract before the 4 years is up, you have to pay a cancellation fee depending on the number of months that you are short on (usually over 100 euro).
- Additionally, TIM made you pay another 100+ euro for some bundled TV service that I obviously don’t need (and there were no plans that did not include it).
- You need an Italian bank account to pay with. A different European bank account won’t work (i.e. I could not use the account I got in Germany that my scholarship payments currently go into).
So obviously, most of the above points are deal breakers, in particular the 4 year contract, the extra modem and especially TV fees, and having to use an Italian bank. I already have Deutsche Bank (which does have branches here), so I’d like to avoid opening an Italian account if I don’t absolutely need it for some bureaucratic reason.
Fortunately, Vodafone seemed to have somewhat more reasonable demands:
- 50Mbs down/10Mbps up for 30 euro per month
- 2 year contract, with 65 euro cancellation fee
- 50 euro deposit, which allows you to pay by mail instead of with an Italian bank
- No other hidden fees (or so they say so far)
Unfortunately, the process for getting Internet from Vodafone works like this:
- Go into the office, bring your ID (passport in my case) and your codice fiscale
- Order the Internet, and wait to receive an email, which signifies your confirmation of the contract
- Wait to receive a phone call to your Italian number from the technician ~3 days later
- Wait for the technician to arrive ~10 days later
Once again, I don’t have an Italian phone number. I don’t mind getting an Italian phone number, but I really need my current phone number for now, since that’s where my meager Internet is going through. The guy at the shop was nice enough to provide me with a temporary Italian SIM that I can put in my phone to receive the phone call. He did this for free (I’m not sure if it was really supposed to be free or not).
Unfortunately, since we couldn’t find a burner phone at any shop we’ve gone to so far, we had to use one of our phones while we await that phone call. Incidentally, my phone has been acting up lately and my husband was supposed to bring me a new phone from the US, but it got stolen along the way. I have been very unlucky with theft lately. If it had not gotten stolen, I could have just used my old phone for the Italian SIM. (I should have a new phone coming in the next week or two, I hope.)
Anyways, we finally got the phone call yesterday. I managed to navigate this, too, in my low level of Italian understanding (which I mostly get for free from French– I really don’t speak Italian). They said they were coming on Tuesday of next week at 10:30 in the morning. (They’ll probably be late, right?) So for at least the next week we are without Internet. If it comes in on time, then it will have been 2.5 weeks without steady Internet in total, which is around what my optimistic estimates were when I was moving here.
On the plus side, I can go to the Rovereto library for free for slow Internet that occasionally craps out. It’s free to come in, sign up for an account, and use that Internet while we’re in the library (you don’t even have to talk to anyone). I do have Eduroam through my last university, but it doesn’t seem to automatically work here, and nothing else will be set up for me here until at least the orientation on September 14th.