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Södertörns högskola
59.219476, 17.943318
Topic Internet (or rather lack of internet)

I came to Sweden convinced that in a country, which considers Internet as one of the basic human rights there should be no problem in getting access to it. The life thought me otherwise.

If you read accommodation carefully you will learn that in Lappis Internet is included in rent. However, in Bjornkulla it is not. But Bjornukulla is much closer to University - so it was a choice: location or internet? I thought getting one should be no problem - I will just pay more, right? No, I was wrong. So, get ready because our adventures with getting internet contracted is a very long story to tell.

Starting from the beginning, it was a truth universally acknowledged by all members of University staff that there is only one company having a monopoly in the area where we live. Of course, one can contract wireless internet with phone company but in order to do so you need a Swedish personal number (in this country you need a Swedish personal number to do basically everything) and as an Exchange student you won't get one and applying for one is simply not worth your time. But, there was this one company ready to contract internet for International Students just for 5 months. Sounds nice, right?

All you had to do was to phone them and they will get you access to the internet through the connection which is already in your room. You need to have your own routers and cables, but the socket to plug them in is there. Then you will get a bill (around 300-500 SEK/per month) and after that simply make a transfer. Sounds easy, right? So, that is exactly what people starting in winter semester did. They called the company and internet was there. But what never was there were the bills (Ok, people with personal number get them and international students did not). 

They told us about and bragging about how lucky they are. It comes as no surprise that we wanted to be lucky too. So, we decided to share. It worked like this - I as an newcomer went to someone living next-door and staying whole year and ask them to share Internet with me. If the Internet is shared by 4-5 people the speed is still OK and the cost is lower (if the bill will finally be delivered).  The agreement was that as long as they don't pay we do not pay neither. Sound, perfect right?

The problem was for students who did not had someone to share Internet with - the company was probably angry and did not wanted to contract Internet to International students no more. Why the bills never came? We do not know. The fact is that the company thought us unreliable customer and decided to cut off the Internet. In the middle of the semester we were left on ice without any access to global network. In the digital age with all your courses contacted via e-platform it is a big personal tragedy. We had to go to library to connect to Internet, but it was very inconvenient. So, we contacted accommodation Office.

Here comes the plot twist. After brainstorming and crises management at International Office the discovery was made. The internet company do not have monopoly. There is another internet provider in the neighborhood - more reliable one and most importantly the one that agreed to make a contract with university and not with every student individually. So, now the internet is provided and if you want to have all you need to do is to contact Accommodation Office and agree to pay 300 SEK per month. So you won't have the same problems as me. Downside? You won't also have such an interesting story to share with your friends. 

What is left to say? The rule of having your own equipment is still actual so when packing bring at least your network cable with you.

network cable

Thanks for those who read so far!

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