2005 Odyssey in the large bandwidth

The beginning

It all started in 2000, when I moved to my new home. I knew it
won't be served soon by xDSL services so kept quiet and asked
to Telecom to provide me with at least ISDN service. After
more than three months, and after doing strong pressions they
sadly "discovered" they couldn't provide me with such a
service so they "forgot" to tell me.... and then I had
to get that POTS line I'm still using.

A new hope

The next year, my zone it seems to be covered by xDSL service.
Whoa, even my parents are covered. So I ask for service and
they even send me the user/password authentication letter via
regular mail. Just to discover soon that I'm after a MUX device
(and discovering by myself that my POTS line is too far
from phone central for DSL service). Damn ! I asked to be
removed from the MUX device, but the support service (the
infamous 187 number) does not even have an idea of what a MUX
device is. Words in the wind. Time for the chainsaw ? Not
yet, let's be quiet ...

xDSL wars

xDSL services are provided almost everywhere in Italy, TVs are
pushing and promoting them like the hell, even government
is going to provide contributions for users deciding to get
such services. And I hear people complaining about it does
not work since they're not even able to configure an IP address
on an xDSL router...
I also saw that, even if it is working very well, Digital
Powerline is going to be killed since we have mafia and
Internet service has to be provided by Telcos ....
Also, I asked costs of Alvarion BreezeNet 5Ghz wireless access-points
to cover the 10km dividing me from a working ADSL (my parents
home is served) but that's 1800EUROs per device and you
need at least 2 devices (using regular 2.4Ghz wireless you would need
at least 4/5 devices running at 1Watt which is illegal
and would cook pidgeons) without even be sure the link is
going to work since there are hills in the middle.
Ouch, really out of my budget !

The digital divide strikes back

In the first half of 2004 I've even been called by a major ISP
(Wind/Libero) which is the one I use to connect, and they told me
they saw I'm using Internet a lot and that an xDSL would save
me a lot of money,etc.etc. and they offer to provide me such a
service. Wonderful I say, I ask are you _sure_ you can provide
me the service, since the only Italian company that owns the
phone lines is not able to do that ? After ten minutes of
stupid waiting-tunes the poor girl comes back to me telling
"Oh, we're sorry, we'll (never) call you when service is
available ...". Dang, now I'm _ANGRY_ !

The return of the hacker

In the meanwhile I was writing for my own interest the NEye
software (which is part of a larger open-source Netflow suite),
and I decided to apply the BIT-GPL license. I know it will probably
die in the wind (which, incidentally, is the name of the second italian
telco mobile division), but at least I'm trying.
So, I decided that first of all I had to get at least ISDN
service with real 64k (and not the maybe 56k if there is no
wind and you get the good modem) and then asked to transform
my POTS in ISDN. This happened on my birthday in 2004, and
I'm asking once a week the status of this work . They
say they're "evaluating", do you want to open an escalation ?
With all the escalations I should have reached Paradise by now,
I forgot to ask, but what makes me really angry is:
.... After 4 years of POTS and 2 months for request
you say you're "evaluating" ? But I'll never stop.


People living 4/5Km from me are trying to make a group request (33 people)
at http://adsltragliatella.cjb.net - now on www.antidigitaldivide.org,
which didn't sort anything. We in our small village made it too, same results.
Same thing in lots of places in
Italy, so this lead to the creation of the AntiDigitalDivide movement
(http://www.antidigitaldivide.org). We fight as best as we can
to have whatever form of realistic and affordable broadband, from
xDSL to Wifi. Please, support us !!!
Just to show you how bad is the situation here, I'll tell you that I also
discovered that (strangely) my home is served  by HDSL service which
is surely better but costs at least ten times an ADSL one.
In Italy, a 640K/256K flat ADSL line has an average cost of 37EURO
per month wich is an high price in Europe (I saw Telecom in France is
reselling ADSL service for 22EURO per month).... but is still
I saw an offer from http://www.siadsl.it for 64K (argh) HDSL at 100EURO
per month with 490EURO one-shot for activation. I asked for details
and the company providing it (or better, reselling the Telecom
one), after reminding them 10 days later that even a negative answer
is an education sign, they told me they are able to provide
me with the 256K one for 330EURO per month and 490EURO one-shot for
330EURO (and 490EURO una tantum) for 2/5 of the 37EURO bandwidth ? And fortunately
as you saw in the previous page I have my 2600 with WIC-1T and V.35cable, so
no router expenses ....
Do you think they deserve an answer, maybe sending them this page ?
I would even think (with a big effort) to get the 64K one to host NEye,
but probably 100EURO per month is a too low income for them to be
interesting ...

The point

I'm asking myself, ok, I'm a hacker but what I really did bad in my
life to deserve this ? And if you're thinking I'm the only one, well,
take a look in newsgroups, HALF of Italy is in my situation.
Only big towns are badly served. And we're the 7th power in the world ?
Oh yes, I could get satellite, continuing to pay dialup connections since
bidirectional satellite is going to cost an eye with a latency higher
than a 56k modem, and serving pages from the satellite is killing !
Telecom, Authority for the Telecommunications, Italian providers,
government, EU community, knock knock, is there anybody out there ?
Who are we paying taxes and bills for what ? For useless DTT crap
nobody asked you ? For your obscene salary ?
So this is the point of the BITGPL license. They have to provide me
with bandwidth. Large bandwidth (at least a 1280K/256K). For free.
Whatever ISP is willing to do that I don't care, I'll be grateful.
First low-latency working ping required, words are not enough. And NEye
will move to GPL. And it will take less than the above said ping.

Now, are your ideas clearer ?