Advice on Internet connection in Marche?

Amaretto Image
02/03/2010 - 09:42

Hi we're moving over to our place in Monte San Martino this Spring and I need to sort out some kind of internet connection. We do not have a landline and after much debate with Italia telecom it seems it will be many years before this is possible. So I know we can use an vodafone dongle on a monthly payment basis but connection is slow and much better outside which is not ideal on chilly evenings. Prob no good for skyping either which is something I need to use without a landline for overseas calls. I've been told about these people who seem to have a satellite relay system which covers the area slightly north of us - it seems to exist in Penna but not sure if the signals stretch to Monte - I am trying to ask the q but not had a response. Does anyone used Fidoka and can advise on how good or not they are? Is there any other reasonably economical way of getting online that anyone knows of? Any advice would be great - thanks marche dwellers...   Am



An aerial  can boost your mobile broadband dongle reception. Nick has a good post on the puglia chat forum try out the link. I'm going to get one.  

Mobile broadband reception

Postby nickandadelaide » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:35 pm I have just installed an aerial to boost my broadband speed. I used to get dial up speeds but now get 3Mbps. This is the aerial I bought: It was just over £50 with postage to the UK, not sure about postage to Italy. You need an adaptor to connect it to your dongle, call them to make sure you get the correct one. I have also put in a router for the dongle so that I don't need to plug the dongle in to the laptop. The details are: Manufacturer : EDIMAXProduct : WiFi 3G Broadband RouterQuicklinx : 5G6XPZQuantity : 1Price exc VAT : £42.19Price inc VAT : £48.51 Finally, I bought a UK Skype number (0208) so that friends and family can call me for the cost of a normal UK call and subscribed to make all European land line calls for about £5 per month. I bought a Skype phone which doesn't need the PC to be switched on so that I can take calls anytime. I bought a re-con model (RTX 3088) for £44 and it works fine. The router and phone were from DABS. If anyone wants to see the setup, just contact me. We are in Specchiolla. Nick

 Amaretto......I have been using Fidoka for two years now, and can only say iy works superbly for me (here in Penna San Giovanni). I have a VERY stable 1.2mb connection (circa 20Euro per month). This allows me to watch LIVE UK TV (BBC1, 2 ITV etc etc), listen to Radio 2 or what ever and of course surfing and emailing. They also provide a 2.4mb connection if you need more (twice the price and not needed for what I want).;) Most of our friends around this area have the Alice 7mb ADSL, but only one of them gets anything more than a half meg and they live in the village itself. So be careful with the phrase 'up to 7mb' in Telecom's sales pitch ! For Fidoka you MUST have line of sight to their mast (the one I 'use' is near the Cimitero in MSM) them and they will let you know. They speak a little bit of English........... I'm very happy with them and staying where I am at the mo ! Good Luck, S

Thats really useful - thanks sprostoni, they sound ideal if we can get em - we're not in Monte - we're on a white rd that goes from Penna (the one with the rubbish tip) up to San Venanzo and on to MSM. There used to be a phone line but now they say we need new fibre optic cabling and its not going to happen. I think the cemetery is the other side of Monte towards the coast - is that right? Am hoping we may be in a sight line from Penna. Will get on to em. Fingers x'd, otherwise will investigate the boosters.   Cheers all Am    

Hi Amar Hi....... Yes the cemetery is on the 'coastal' side of MSM (actually almost facing North towards Penna.) I am near the cemetery in Penna , pretty much directly across the valley so I have a great direct line of sight. Cheers and Good Luck, S

Hi Sprostini, we live in Saline (between PSG and St Angelo) and have a sight line to St Angelo. We have Alice M7 and have never had above half a meg which is quite frustrating and have been looking at Fidoka having learnt of your experience. How reliable is the service? - do you get any down time and does anything affect the signal? (thinking of weather particularly here). I'd rather invest a little more and get the service I pay for than Alice's wishful thinking (though to be fair we don't have any problems with it, just not strong enough! Thanks Jo and Simon

In reply to by simonandjo

 Hi guys................. I am 18 months into using Fidoka, I have a 1.2mb connection and having just tested (although I knew what the result would be), it is 99% stable at that level, morning, afternoon and evening 24/365. Weather is ALMOST never a problem,  and if I was starting all over again, would DEFINITELY go down the same route. With the 1.2mb connection it provides all of our Internet needs including LIVE UK TV as mentioned. The latter can be flakey at times, and that is down to 'only' having a 1.2mb connection, but it is definitely 'live-able' with. Fidoka provide a 2.4mb connection as well but it is twice the cost, and (for me) not going to add any great benefit. Good Luck, S

In reply to by sprostoni

Sprostoni, sorry meant to ask before - are you on a 'wireless' system - we have a router which connects our laptop to the connection to our main PC so we can access the internet in any room and wonder if we will be able to use this with the Fidoka set up. Can't see a reason why it wouldn't but just wondered if you were 'wireless'.  Thanks again Jo and Si

They stick a small dish (about a 10 inches square), on your wall pointing towards the antenna that you will receive from, a wire comes into the house and is attached to a very small specific router, I just plugged this into my wireless router and Bob's my uncle (so to speak!). Cheers, S

Is it possible to get broadband and TV from the same satellite supplier here in Marche?  I have looked at the Tooway option for broadband and if I am going to be paying nearly €60 per month I would like to lose the subscription to SKY (would be preferable to also only have one dish).

You're in Ripatransone aren't you? Telecom Italia have coverage in that town. Are you in the country? Is that why you can't get it? I doubt you will find a wireless provider in your area if Telecom already cover it but it is worth a search. Have you asked the neighbours? How about an internet key? If you have decent reception then these work really well. I have worked with mine and watched TV on it. There aren't many suppliers of Satellite broadband (especially at a reasonable cost). Marche is going to digital TV next month so how about a digital receiever instead of SKY? You could watch UK tv online once you get your fast internet connection.

Penny  - We are in countryside and tried TI back in 2008.  We had numerous TI chaps come down to the house, scratch their heads and claim it wouldn't be easy.........  A year later they still couldn't even give us a quote (which we imagined would be well over €1k as we are 650m from nearest house).  Up until this point I had been driving up to our apartment in Ripa centro storico where I still had a TI line and working from there.  Finally gave up with TI and invested in Vodafone dongle.  Started with pay as you go to make sure it would work and then went to contract.  This was bearable up until a month ago when work changes involved more software etc and new encrypted laptop.  My dongle just cannot cope anymore.  I have had the IT guys from the UK company I work for remote on and nothing can be done to resolve the issues.  We have continuously been looking into the wireless option as dongle contract limits me to 10 hours a day and this is not enough.  I really have looked into ALL options (within my limited IT and language abilities) - this decision has not been taken lightly and back to Fillide's comment on other post - No I am most definitely not rich or wouldn't need to be sorting out broadband that enables me to continue working.

I use this booster antenna and it works great. I choose between this one and the one that Bunterboy recomended, but in the end choose this one because it is easier to mount (at the moment I haven't even mounted it, I just put it in the window). This one is omnidirectional and the other one is directional, and must therefore be mounted in the correct direction. If one is able to mount the directional one exactly, then it should theoretically be better, but I am very pleased with mine. Sorry if I got too technical smiley

I would try TI again as someone nearby may have paid to get connected and made it easier for you since 2008/9. You never know! I also work from home for clients in London via the internet and know how frustrating it can be. I would, however stick to Telecom if humanly possible as the one time I used someone else I got caught in endless conversations where the other company blamed Telecom and telecom blamed the other company etc.... although you wouldn't have a Telecom line with Tooway so maybe that would be better. Also if you have a business Telecom service they have to repair the line within certain timeframes or pay you compensation. On a residential line they don't. The thing that would put me off Tooway (and I did look at it when I was thinking of buying a country house) is their 'Volume Allowance' Policy. I would use it for work and what if they decide that I use it too much? They would then downgrade my speed/access. On their website it states you can recieve Tv via the satellite but it would obviously be Italian TV and whatever European channels can be got as here in Marche we can't get the BBC/ITV reception so not sure if that is good enough for you to replace SKY?

Hi there, I've heard of a company who will do either satellite or wimax connections, apparently up to 50 mbps, who say they can cover most of Italy with reliable and fast connections. They'll do a test at your home, to see which would be the better for you. (I haven't needed them yet as I do ok in my bit of the back woods, but would certainly bear them in mind for the future). They're called so it may be worrth checking out their web-site. Good luck!

Penny - Nothing has changed since 2008.  We are still 650m from the nearest house, in the middle of fields and I suspect the nearest house does not have broadband if they have telephone.  They are then even further than 650m to the next nearest house.  In other words for TI to give us a phone line they needed to put a lot of poles across two steep fields, that was and still is their problem.  At one point they actually gave us a telephone number and then realised their mistake!!  They sent various different chaps out over a long period but never could actually give us a quote let alone commit to providing us a phone.  Furthermore who is to say that if we got a telephone line we would be able to get broadband?  Appreciate everyone's input.  thanks

In reply to by karenr

I must admit I was surprised you could get Tooway for 'as little as' €60 per month - but it sounds as if they are playing the same game as Italia wifi - even on their 'Gold Standard' which they promise a great Mb speed, they restrict downloads to 10 Gb a month. Well, I'm sorry, that isn't enough to watch half of Wimbledon! If you do decide to try Tooway, consider first if the traffic limit is going to be impossible for you. Have you tried dongles from other suppliers? Like Penny (I think it was who said) I've managed (once!) to stream live BBC through a dongle, even tho it is Vod and my signal is dreadful: checking the speed on a neighbour's '3' dongle they were getting a solid 3.4Mbps (better than TI ever do for me). There are millions of different tarriffs for these dongles - either fixed price and unlimited, or more tailored subscriptions. Find out if any of the cell networks give you good coverage, and try one of theirs - you can make the test for less than €20. (There is nothing better than 'sucking it and seeing!'). Other things - you might like to find a helpful local computer shop and ask them what the crack is on landline ADSL availability; there is a lot of stuff going on in Italy patching in wireless networks into the fixed infrastructure (in places where fibre optic lines are not an economic possibility) and ADSL coverage is generally improving. Usually the chaps in computer shops speak router English and are delighted to assist. Any chance of something useful on ?

We chose Vodafone as we can see their mast and knew from experience that we couldn't even get TIM mobile phone to work here.  (We had a bad experience with 3 and would not go to them ever.) I have spoken with chaps in San Ben Vodafone shop and I have the "best" option already - did change once before and had to revert to this.  Unfortunately my comprehension of dowload Mbs etc is virtually non-existent.  I have no idea what I need to perform my work I only know that my dongle used to be ok and now it isn't.  I also assumed if I had 10 hours a day then that was what I got.  I now suspect somewhere in the small print that I do not understand (Italian rather than IT terms being the problem in this case) that there is a proviso quoting Mbs limits or such within said 10 hour per day limit and with the new software I am running alongside the other software it is too much.  Signal doesn't seem to have changed but the upload download often drops to bps and often zero bps.  I looked at the Antenna suggestion  but assume this won't help as it seems to be more about signal which isn't a problem.  Just connecting and disconnecting is tedious.  The progress bar repeats itself over and over where previously it would connect immediately.  Often I have to actually take the dongle out to disconnect.  IT guys said there was a bug in dongle - changed dongle made no difference.  I also tried dongle in old laptop with just one lot of software on and it connected and disconnected immediately as it always used to.  Ultimately I can be "connected" but lack of upload/download means I can do nothing.  This change occurred only after new laptop arrived with the additional software so I have to assume this is the problem.  Sorry this is a bit laboured - as I said before dealing with two foreign languages I have limited comprehension of, though I suspect my Italian is a little better than my IT :-)