Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015


I had a bit of a problem with an email group the other day. I'd never seen one before and it took me a few minutes to work it out. The person who'd set up the email also put together a group on WhatsApp before mistakenly deleting themself from the group. I bacame the group administrator by random asignation. Again it took me a few minutes to work out what was going on and reinstate him. Crikey I thought. I'm getting old. Losing touch with the technology.

We have a general Election on 20 December. I was listening to some pundit, presumably from a party that hadn't done well out of a newspaper poll, saying that polls were no longer a fair reflection of the voting population. His argument was that, because the pollsters telephoned people randomly on fixed phones, the sample was self selecting as only old people have fixed phones now. I bristled. That's not true I thought defensively. It's true that even I access the Internet more often from a tablet or my phone than I do from my laptop. Still though the serious work is done on the bigger screen with a proper keyboard and through an ADSL connection that trickles in through the telephone socket in the living room. It's going to be a long time before 4G, or any fast, reliable mobile network, is available in Culebrón or anywhere else outside the bigger population areas if the experience of the older 3G network is anything to go on.

Over the years that we've been in Spain we've nearly always had a contract with Telefónica or it's more recent incarnation - Movistar - the old state monopoly provider. However, because we've moved around quite a bit and often had second residences we've tried all sorts of other providers and used various methods of getting Internet access. All of the providers have pluses and minuses but, in Culebrón, Movistar was, at one time, our only option and until recently it has also been, clearly, the best option. We've had problems from time to time but generally the service has been fine. There is a problem now though; the highest Internet speed they can provide is 3MB. It just isn't enough. A local firm currently offers a heart quickening 8MB and it's a few euros a month cheaper too.

A couple of days ago, after prevaricating for ages I finally signed up. The new provider warned me to expect lots of calls from Movistar trying to persuade me to stay. Actually I had a sneaking hope that Movistar would pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat and find those extra 5MB from somewhere. In that case I would have happily stayed with them. Instead their first salvo today was a text message warning me that I could be penalised for breaking contractual arrangements. They stressed that I would have to return any equipment that belongs to them. I laughed at the thought of returning their six year old non functioning router and the 11 year old fixed handset.

Cowardly as I am, I have never responded well to being pushed around. Cajoling, wheedling and wearing down work a treat - but threatening no.

My guess is that there will be fun to come as we change over. Pity there won't be any rabbits.

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