Saturday, 29 September 2012

Sufferings of frequently occurring Offline Existance – or: Internet in a small Brazilian town

Internet in Brazil is like an annoying neighbour: if you don´t need it, it´s always available and stopping you from doing your work but as soon as you urgently need its help it´s either busy due to a lot of people using it or not available.


We like to think of Brazil as one of the leading nations. Economy, wealth, development.

Unfortunately I am forced to say that Luanda (capital of Angola) has more reliable internet providers. During my time there, the internet in two private apartments as well as the internet cafe never failed (only when we had some of the occasional electricity failures but then again, it wasn´t the internet providers fault…)...

Working mainly through the internet and online masterboards, my husband and I have been fighting our way through at least 4 different internet providers. Two mobile stick internet options (claro and vivo, incredibly expensive and incredibly slow), radio  and cable internets (affordable, but totally unreliable). We will hopefully soon be able to try out the last remaining, expensive option called Velox (unfortunately we do know from relatives using it here in Porto Seguro (region Bahia) that even this option has similar failures although it seems to be the fastest and reliable of all). So what do they all have in common?

They are mainly slow. Break up, sometimes even more than 6 times per day. Minutes, hours, even days with no internet connection at all.

“It is all due to some #mysterious# ´link-signal break-up´.”

Really, I don´t care too much about general inefficiency in life, bureaucracy and other funny stuff that often occurs here, I love this place too much to be worried about such things. But the basis for my current work and social online dependence due to EU family and friends…

It really is the most difficult BR issue to accept, always being worried probably mainly about our work situation and the frustration of break ups, e.g. during skype calls to my family and friends in Europe or just as simple as being able to meet online at the agreed time. As I am working shifts, I am often forced to work longer (while getting paid the same amount and sitting around half of the time waiting for the internet to return) due to the internet failure which does not allow me to work through as much as I would have been able to if the internet had been stable.

I do not want to imagine how many thousands, if not millions $$$ local companies lose here due to those ´link signal breaks´… Local political candidates c(sh)ould invest into changing this embarrassing internet issue or at least get the horribly asphalted roads fixed instead of 24/7 noise pollution through sound car propaganda, irrelevant opposition intrigues and throwing useless weekend parties during 5 (LONG) pre-election months…) Probably they find it convenient that every now and then, they get some free time to have their cafezinho during offline company times. But again, I find it so difficult to understand why all those internet providers aren´t able to guarantee a stable internet connection. Is there some secret reason, they might gain something while doing it? Although I cannot really think of what that something could be…

As I am writing this article (offline, as the internet decided to jump out for more than 4 hours now), the electricity decided to just switch off as well, meaning I also lost half of this article. Yes. Here we are forced to have at least two internet and two IT options. One is (currently) cable and the other one is our mobile internet stick. So in an emergency case during a work shift with sudden break-up of cable internet and electricity (&PC), we are still able to work on our laptop and s__naiii___lllll_slow mobile stick for as many hours as the laptop battery bears.

At least as long as the mobile network stands strong…..

Which it doesn´t today. o_O

This article was written about 3h before it was posted. I am now happily working. Online! Yay!

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