The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. We are now definitely a lot more online than we used to be. I have asked the women of the Expatclic community to share their experiences with the Internet connection where they live or have lived in the world.
A reliable and fast Internet connection is important to everyone on the planet, especially at this moment. Home-schooling and smart working have become the norm, and being able to connect without anxiety to maintain a sort of normalcy in our lives is a must for everyone. However, those who live miles away from their loved ones would be totally lost without the Internet.
On Expatclic, we have talked at length about the impact of COVID-19 on the expat community. Families have found themselves in the impossibility of going back to their passport countries for long. Many of us have lost loved ones without even being able to say goodbye. The pandemic has impacted travelling in an unprecedented way, and the need to keep contact with loved ones all over the world has become crucial.
Personally, I have always put a reliable and fast Internet connection in the list of my priorities when deciding whether to accept to move to a specific destination. I have had all sorts of experiences since the Internet has been created, and I have talked to countless expats who sometimes measure their happiness in a place in terms of Internet connection. In many cases it ranks among the most important factors to define the quality of life in a specific destination.
Let’s see what are the most common aspects expats take into account when talking about Internet connection.
The emotional need to feel safely and constantly connected
As mentioned, what has always been a pressing need of the expat community has now become even more important. Not only does the Internet allow us to keep up with our projects, work and activities. It also ensures a constant connection with families far away, which at the moment cannot count on visiting us as they used to do before the pandemic. This emotional need can only be satisfied if we can count on a reliable, fast Internet connection, without interruptions.
A fast Internet connection is essential
Today we do not only need to download our mail and browse a few websites. The web has become the place where we spend most of our time in countless activities. We need to be able to download books and documents, to turn on our webcam and stay in a call with another 100 people, to listen to podcasts, music and vocal messages, to connect on a multitude of software with a lot of countries. A fast internet connection is essential. The frustration deriving from having to wait minutes in order to accomplish what we need, can sometimes be too much in a moment already charged with uncertainty and vulnerability.
There are websites that help you measure the speed of your connection, this is my favourite: https://www.speedcheck.org/
Problems with the network
Swiftness and performance of the connection can greatly vary depending on the destination, and also on the different neighbourhoods within the same urban area. I was stunned to hear my community complaining about the fact that Internet in Germany is disastrous – “terribly slow, breaks down often and client service is the worst”. In terms of swiftness, countries like Denmark, Costa Rica, Tunisia and Italy, just to name a few, where cited as examples of well performing networks.
This is another aspect that can greatly impact the first days of living in a new country. Some of us complained about the wait between the signing of the contract and the actual installation. In some cases (Switzerland, UK, Germany) it takes up to four or five weeks, which is considered scandalous, especially compared to countries like Peru, Colombia and Thailand, where the installation is just a matter of days.
We all know that landing in a new place creates an emotional and practical turmoil. A reliable and fast Internet connection can greatly help us overcome the anxiety and disorientation of having to quickly learn how to function in a new culture.
What expats need – today more than ever – is to know that they can rely on an efficient clients service as far as the Internet goes. They need to be able to clearly report any problem (which sometime can be difficult in itself if they don’t speak the language of the country they relocated to), and to know that someone will take care of it quickly and definitely.
Especially for those of us who work online, it is unthinkable to be left without the service for more than a bunch of hours.
Internet will become more and more important in our lives. Feel free to reach out to the community if you need updated info on how fast and reliable the Internet connection is in your next destination.