Initially, it seems that *everything* in Croatia is complicated and fraught with much dramarama. Getting utility bills put into your name, buying a car, finding where to buy paint and white goods and furniture, getting car & house insurance, knowing how to hop across borders, opening a bank account, arranging a mobile phone, getting residency status, understanding Croatian instructions when putting together flatpack furniture. But, once you’ve done something once, maybe twice, you get the hang of it and all of a sudden we’re coasting along, thinking we’re very almost Croatian. But then our nemesis raises its head and we realise that one thing has alluded us. One thing we just cannot crack…
That’s right. Broadband. In May of last year (2017!) the broadband cable was finally fitted and for about 12 hours we had super speedy broadband. Oh, how wonderful those 12 hours were! But it didn’t last as, after much harassing of our provider, we found out that the “box” which housed the cables to all of the other houses in the village was FULL and our skinny wire couldn’t possibly have fitted into it. Hence, a huge pole had to be erected, the villagers consulted re the wire crossing across different people’s land, and eventually the wire drilled into the house – only for a “fault” to rear its head. And no, no more work could be done because apparently the Internet Gods in Zagreb had allocated a budget to our project, which had now been spent, and nothing more could be done. Even blatant attempts at bribery proved fruitless. Showing at least, that our telecoms engineers are nothing, if not honest.
So, for a year and a bit, the solution has been a satellite dish for TV and a 4G router for internet access. We’ve managed – although designing websites has been a bit frustrating at times. TV is something we are still getting our heads around – and no matter what you think of the state of TV in the UK, be grateful. Very grateful. Croatian TV (apart from some UK imports – thank goodness for Midsomer Murders & Death in Paradise) is nuts. It’s on a par with Italian TV – which is our only respite when the Croatian programmes become too insane. We can stream & download, but the 4G internet is limited on a monthly basis – we’ve so far never reached the limit, but after being used to just having broadband in Didsbury, it is, well, a bit limiting.
Our problem is that broadband apparently cannot reach our house at the moment – although conversations with T-Com (the state provider), suggest that technological advancements are being made and we will eventually have it. But no-one knows when this will be. And, although there are new companies in Croatia who are offering the installation of broadband, like with BT, everything ultimately goes through T-Com, so we just keep hitting the same stumbling blocks.
However, after much investigation, I have found a UK company who can provide us with satellite broadband. It seems a completely bonkers way of getting fast internet to the house, but once we have this we can then investigate the TV set-up. God knows if it will work, but we have to give it a try.
And given that we’ve successfully cracked most things we’ve encountered, we think that very soon we’ll crack this too and that like the rest of you, we’ll soon be lapping up Strictly Come Dancing.