Saturday, November 6, 2010

Getting connected

In HK all our televisual needs were taken care of by NOW Broadband (run by PCCW, HKs main telecoms provider). For around HK$900 (c. GBSterling 80), we received the complete range of sport (including premiership) and movies, pretty much all that was available by way of children's tv globally as well various BBC news and Entertainment stations. In reality, TV at TaiTamTowers was mostly dominated by Boomerang!, a Children's station that specialised in re-running old Scooby-do, Tom and Jerry and Popeye movies (which as you can imagine found great favour with Mum and Dad). As the name suggests we also got broadband connection for our PC (and a landline service at a nominal cost).

In the desert, things are very different. The broadband and TV packages are (generally) supplied by different providers (although some of the more modern developments seem to have combined packages available). The cost is also significantly higher - broadband and landline connection come in at around AED800 per month (c. HK$1,700) and we have just signed up to the minimum cable package which provides us with some children's TV (not Boomarang) and extreme sports (ie tractor racing from the Urals)for the princely sum of AED89 per month. For all its deficiencies (incomprehensible terms and conditions and penchant for cold-calling at 10pm at night anybody?), PCCW's package was pretty good and relatively cheap. Someone could make a fortune putting something as convenient together here.

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