I am connected to the internet and the new house has wifi

Receiving dish being installed, perfectly illustrating the Czech approach to health & safety 🙂 © Ricky Yates

One concern I had from the outset of deciding to purchase my new home in Stará Oleška, was whether I would be able to obtain easy internet access. Ever since having an email address and joining the world-wide web, I have always done so via a broadband connection as part of having a landline phone – through British Telecom in North Oxfordshire and via O2 in Prague.

Therefore, back in mid-April, I enquired of Real Estate Agent Martin Tonder, whether the elderly owners of the house, had a land line phone line through which internet access could be obtained. In reply he wrote, ‘Sorry there is no land line, but there should be very reliable wireless service from JAW.cz’.

The website of JAW.cz is unfortunately only in Czech. But helped by Google translate, I got a good understanding of the service that they offer. I therefore sent off an email to their generic email address info@jaw.cz, with a brief Czech introduction, but with the rest in English, asking about whether they could provide an internet service to my new home and at what cost. Being a hi-tech company, I didn’t think it unreasonable to assume that there would be someone competent in English, who could reply.

I sent similar emails twice, but was greeted by total silence. Therefore it was a few days after I had moved into the new house and was in Martin Tonder’s office in Decín, resolving a couple of other issues, that I mentioned to him, this lack of response from his recommended company. He was most surprised at this and promptly rang JAW.cz. His call resulted in the promise that a technician would call to assess the situation on Monday 22nd May at 14.30.

Communication mast on a hill four kilometres away © Ricky Yates

The technician duly arrived at the appointed time. Whilst he didn’t have a word of English, he pointed out the communication mast on a hill four kilometres away from which a signal could be obtained, and told me that Bar-restaurace U Soni, three doors down the road, obtained their internet access from the same source and that he personally, had installed their wifi system. Bar-restaurace U Soni, has been my main means of accessing the internet since moving to Stará Oleška, so it was a good recommendation. The technician further assured me that he would get an English-speaking staff member to phone me, to take the matter forward.

Unfortunately, I was once more greeted with silence as no phone call materialised. Therefore on the morning of Monday 29th May, I braced myself and went in person to the office of JAW.cz in Decín. The young lady on the reception desk had very limited English. But between her very limited English and my very limited Czech, we made progress.

Putting my name into her computer immediately revealed details of the technician’s visit a week previously. Somebody could come and complete the installation the next day she promptly told me. Unfortunately I had a medical appointment back in Prague that day, but we agreed on Wednesday 31st May at 14.00. But why no one had followed up the technician’s previous visit, I never did discover.

On Wednesday 31st May, more than hour before he was due, the promised installer arrived. He happily went up the ladder into the upstairs front room and then climbed out the window onto the roof of the verandah. He fortunately discovered that the receiving dish for the wireless signal, could be attached to the base of the existing TV aerial. He also managed to bring the wire from the receiving dish into the house, through the existing hole for the TV aerial wire, without needing to drill a fresh one.

Router © Ricky Yates

A power point located adjacent to the top of the ladder into the upstairs was the perfect place for the router and, in a relatively short period of time, my new internet connection was up and working. Cost CZK 1800/GBP 60.00, together with a monthly payment of CZK 319 / GBP 10.60.

16 comments to I am connected to the internet and the new house has wifi

  • Pauleen Bang

    What a long and complicated story, but fortunately with a happy ending. Sounds like a reasonable price, too. So we can look forward to lots more of your blog posts.
    Happy settling in.

    • Ricky

      Long & complicated indeed, Pauleen, but eventually with a more than satisfactory ending. Part of the problem was language – my Czech is fine in a bar-restaurant but not for discussing internet connections & wifi routers. But I am left wondering sometimes, whether some Czech firms actually want to stay in business. I had similar non-communication problems when house-hunting. Real Estate agents who have their website in English as well as Czech, who simply didn’t respond to email enquiries in English. More blog posts will follow, for sure!

  • Lucky you! I am still relying on the neighboring bar and on hot spotting with my old iPhone 😉 Glad to hear you have sorted it out and are 24/7 online! SY

  • Great to hear you’re finally connected after all the rigmarole! 🙂

    I can so relate to your language experiences outside of Prague. It’s quite different than in Prague, where many people know at least some English. I’ve been living off the beaten path for the past year–closer to Germany–and it’s been an interesting experience in many ways, but mostly with my lack of Czech 🙂 I’ve gained a bit more Czech, but still have a very long ways to go!

    You’ll probably pick up the Czech language faster, too, being so far out of Prague these days 🙂

    • Ricky

      Thank you, Sher!

      You are quite correct – there is far less English spoken once you are well away from Prague. In many respects I’m going through an experience similar to the one I had when first moving to Prague in September 2008. When trying to get certain practical things sorted, language can be a problem. Once you’ve done that, the language problem predominantly ceases to be an issue. As you say, I’m sure my Czech will improve living here.

  • Heather Garnett

    It’s a dull life without the internet so well done on your wi-fi success. Coping with another language makes life even more complicated?. You have my admiration.

    Looking forward to reading your future blogs on the adventures of a retired Chaplain. Where is Sybille at the moment? I have obviously missed some earlier info from you. I must make more time to read my emails, Facebook, and your blog. We keep busy with regular U3A activities plus Fred’s large allotment (yummy strawberries are now on the menu with gooseberries close behind) and,of course, visits to Lynsey and Jules.
    Do hope we can meet up sometime. Maybe Southend Airport will have Dresden flights for us.
    Very best wishes, Heather and Fred

    • Ricky

      It’s a frustrating life without access to the internet. I was relying on wifi in a couple of bar-restaurants until last Wednesday. You can’t, or at least definitely shouldn’t, do things like internet banking on such open networks! As in the comment by Sher & my reply, there is far less English spoken once you are outside of Prague.

      Sybille is currently in Santiago de Compostela. Your strawberries & gooseberries sound good. There are strawberry plants and some fruit bushes in the garden here, but it hasn’t been tended well in recent years. See my previous post.

      Dresden Airport is only marginally closer to Stará Oleška than Prague Airport & the latter has flights to a far greater number of destinations. I hope too, that we can meet up some time in the not too distant future.

  • What a big to do… although I can’t say I’m too surprised based on a few similar past interactions, but I’m glad it’s all been figured out and your home has wifi now 🙂

    • Ricky

      A big to do indeed, Cynthia! As a fellow English-speaking expat living in the CR, I’m not at all surprised that you’ve had similar experiences. However, with a bit of perseverance, things can usually be resolved 😉

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,

    Congratulations on overcoming the obstacles and re connecting to the world via the ‘Tower of Babel’ communications mast. 😀 Your picture on ‘Czech attitudes to health and safety’ reminds me of simpler times in Ireland when such things were commonplace here also. Now it would require so much equipment and so many foremen, overseers and supervisors, not to mention inspectors you would lose the will to live while waiting. Still such things are for the common good and I was saddened recently to read that accidents in Irish agriculture outstrip all other industries by a factor of ten. Of course the farmer being self employed and usually working alone with machinery or livestock; often in remote or out of the way places is a difficult customer for H & S inspectors and enforcers to deal with. Thankfully there are fewer children involved in farm accidents than in the past. Are you finding the rural idyll a vast change from Prague Ricky or are you glad to be out of the city? God bless, Sean.

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,

      Thank you for the congratulations, Sean. I also like your name for the communications mast 4km away.

      With regard to health & safety, the Czechs are horribly lax. I’ve seen some very ‘interesting’ sights on building projects in Prague which made my hair stand on end. To be fair to our installer, the verandah roof is a reasonable width & only has a slight slope so he wasn’t in too great a danger. But you are right, farming can be a very dangerous activity.

      As to your question, it is quite a change to Prague. But then I only have to drive 11km & I’m in a town of 50,000 inhabitants with all facilities. I am certainly enjoying having so much less pressure on my time.

  • Robert E. Doolittle

    Hi Ricky: It looks like you have some serious hiking ahead of you in your new location. Bye the bye, our grand daughter Mary will be in Santiago de Compostela tomorrow after having completed a large chunk (350 miles) of the Nord trail over the last month. She has kept in touch with her parents on a fairly regular basis, so we have been able to follow her progress. She is walking with a friend, and reported that this adventure is the most difficult(physical) thing she has ever undertaken. It has turned out to be much more difficult that she first thought. Your photos are as always very nice.

    • Ricky

      Hi Bob – You’ve left this comment on my post about being connected to the internet but I suspect you’ve also read the following post, hence the content of your comment. Yes there certainly is plenty of opportunity for some serious hiking in the surrounding area.

      Lovely to hear about your granddaughter walking the Camino del Norte & thank you for your compliments regarding my photos.

  • What a saga, but I’m glad it’s all turned out well in the end and at an extremely reasonable price too, with no landline rental either. I really do think you’ve found the ideal retirement home – beautiful surroundings but with all the advantages of a good-sized town close by.

    • Ricky

      It was a bit of a saga but the end result is excellent. I’m increasingly feeling that I found the almost perfect place to retire. However, I’ve still got to see how I cope with the winter months.