ADSL in Greece revisited once again.

I was just about ready to go to bed when I read this transcript from a session in the Greek Parliament regarding ADSL. (it is in Greek). I thought it is time to revisit the subject.

I’ve got ADSL in Greece since this summer when it was announced. I can safely say that for as long as I used it (i.e. while I was there) the service was okay, albeit at a very high cost.

The obligatory purchase of a modem from OTE costing around €200 (cf. the Netgear DG834G 802.11g AP/Router/ADSL modem/4port switch in the UK which costs considerably less) — imposed presumably due to the financial interests of the company as well as the incompatibilities arising from the use of inferior Intracom/Alcatel/Siemens DSLAM devices in many exchanges as well as the very high cost of connectivity (more than €70 + VAT for a 384/128Kbps connection) still make is prohibitive for the Greek market.

Many people here (in the UK) believe that the UK too is lagging behind in the internet connectivity/access ratings. And indeed maybe it does, compared to countries like France, Germany, Italy and of course most of the Scandinavian ones. But if the UK is lagging behind, Greece must look like a Genuine Third World Country (if not a zoo) and certainly not an EU country that will host the 2004 Olympics.

In the middle of the summer I sent a letter to the Hellenic Oftel (EETT) regarding the situation touching upon the price, equipment provision and service availability of broadband connectivity in Greece and they too gave me a standard content-free reply that avoided to touch upon any of the issues I had enquired about and merely gave reassurances regarding the Committee’s efforts.

With ADSL having been overdue for three years before being finally widely available for the public this summer, extremely high prices, clueless technicians, lack of choice in modems and slow speed options (compared to the rest of Europe and the US) one would definitely expect a different (more apologetic) response from the people in charge of this fiasco. I just cannot believe how someone in the highest position of the Telecommunications Ministry and with the burden of this ridiculous state of connectivity in Greece falling upon his shoulders for the most part, can be so arrogant, ignorant and corrupt and still have no sense of dignity that would lead to his resignation, even when others (from any political background/party, social group etc.) specifically and accurately criticise the governments fundamental faults and indifference in dealing with such important issues like this.

It’s a different world.

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