I must report that I was left without Internet service for 6 hours yesterday. Apparently some cable was severed somewhere. OK, shit happens, but that is the second time since CANTV was taken over by the revolution. In the past when I was out of service it was because I had forgotten to pay my bill. And within a few hours of paying it was reestablished. Now, the only time I forgot to pay my bill, the reconnection lasted ALMOST 72 hours!
But that is not all: in San Felipe since CANTV was taken over by the revolucion bonita my pseudo broadband service has become hardly better than my dial up service of past years. That is true! Because of the low density of Internet in San Felipe then my dial up was the envy of others dial up as I could connect almost anytime at the first try. When pseudo broadband came I did not need to dial anymore and I got a somewhat faster service. Today that speed has gone down and some days I have trouble even downloading e-mail. I guess I still do not need to dial up so I should not complain. But there is also another mystery: at least once a week I notice that suddenly my connection goes near zero speed. That is, pages simply stop downloading. Sometimes it comes back on its own, sometimes I need to restart my computer! NOTE: I have an excellent anti virus system and firewall that I keep updated, so it is not a virus. This started happening within 6 months after CANTV was taken over.
As a consequence of this I have had to get a blackberry so I can always receive my work mails (no, do not ask, I do nothing on the blog with my berry, not even approval of comments). I also had to subscribe with a wireless net service who works slow but at least works all the time, as a back up (and when I travel through Venezuela which is nice). In other words, the CANTV takeover has forced me to double my Internet expenses! And not for the blog, just because of work and security reason. Because there is also another doubling of costs: cel phone services. It is now a need in Venezuela to have two wireless phones from two different companies when you travel a lot as I do, since you never know whose signal you will get: road security and service are at an all time low and you need to be able to reach someone fast if your car breaks down!!! I remember fondly the days when we could travel without a phone at all as we would be able to find help without much trouble without fearing to be robbed first, a time where we would stop anywhere to admire the view without fear for our life. Now travel is getting as fast as possible to a safe place. And there is no security in numbers as buses are regularly attacked by road pirates.