Although the welcoming to JFK and our apartments have been beyond wonderful, the only thing they do not provide for your apartment is wifi. This can be confusing and complicated in a new country. Let me break it down for you.
Wi-Fi, the hot topic of all international teachers. Some of you will be lucky enough and have the school set this up before you even arrive, others will be like me and run around confused trying to set it up in a different language with thousands of reasons they can and cannot set it up where you live.
Here in Mexico it is much the same, inefficient and based on how someone is feeling that day (among other things). Depending on where you live different companies will be able to offer you different packages due to the lines (or not offer anything). The top 3 companies here in Querétaro are: Telmex, Cablecom, and Megacable. Another reason they won’t be able to provide you with Internet is if there are too many people in your complex with the same company, yes they cap it! Something different from Canada is that often their locations are within a store such as Wal-Mart. For MegaCable, I went into the Wal-Mart near my apartment to a little kiosk after you pay for your items and spoke with the woman there.
Several weeks ago, I went to Telmex because they have big offices 5min down the street from my apartment. There they told me because of where I live I would have to get a home telephone PLUS Internet. I didn’t want a home phone so I decided to go to MegaCable in Wal-Mart. The prices also are very different. Telmex is like Bell in Canada (large, monopoly company) so they charge slightly more for their services. At Telmex it was going to cost $359 for Internet per month, which in comparison to Canada is very cheap for unlimited Wi-Fi (in Canada unlimited Wi-Fi does not exist!).
At Wal-Mart I spoke to a lady, thankfully there was a young guy at the next booth who could speak a little English and help myself and the lady understand one another. You do not need identification or proof of address unlike with the other companies. You simply need to give your name (nombre), phone number, and address. You need to tell the person when the best time for you is so they can come then and set it up for you. You also have to pay a deposit of $200 (pesos). You then sign the contract and voila! The lady told me between 1 to 7 days someone would come and set it up for me.
About 10 days later a notice in my door informed me that they could not install internet at my apartment because of the way the cables run (at the complex 2min walk from my door they can get it – but not us?!). I marched back over to their booth in Wal-Mart and they told me I had to take my contract and the notice to the head office (thankfully close by) to get my deposit back. Which I did the very next day (also a massive process)!
A few days later I headed back to Telmex and after a 45min wait I was given my contract (printed on a recycled piece of paper) and a modem. It took them a total of 3 days to come by and install my internet and home phone (which I caved in a bought cheaply).
The main lesson of my life story is go to the main office so they are able to check if there are cables where you live they can connect to and whether or not they have reached the maximum capacity of people on their network where you live. Be thankful if you have internet it has become a life line to family and friends around the world; I did not realize this until I didn’t have it!