Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

The magic of DSL

ADSL GreeceNow you have it, now you don’t. That’s the magic of DSL in Greece.

That’s also the reason I haven’t posted most of this week and am trying to catch up. Since moving north and going wireless with the fastest connection available, it’s been one thing or another, issues we never had while living closer to the center with a slower connection and a 1 GB limit.

Upon transferring my service, I was originally told I’d be up and running within 48 hours of cutting service at the other house. This ETA was a relief since I was leaving the country for more than a month and had essential communication overseas that needed to take place before departing. This relief soon turned to angst when a full week passed and there was no connection. Sure, there was a signal, but no actual connection.

My inside guy at OTE assured me it’d be fine, he would handle it personally. As I understand, it came up a week after I left. By the way, I’m not complaining. I feel fortunate that my connection was up in less than two weeks since most people I know have waited at least a month or three months. It was just bad timing since I work remotely with the USA and UK.

Another issue has been the wireless. My friend Alex warned that I’d have to find a way to prevent leechers from tapping our wireless connection once it floods the house, and it turns out I have issues tapping my own wireless just by changing rooms. One issue solved, one gained.

Now it seems the connection just drops out whenever it wants, comes back (or not) whenever it likes…and yes, the bill is paid on time ;). Calling OTE does little to solve anything, with technicians checking the line and calling back after 7 hours on average. Totally worth the 24.90 euro/monthly!

But it’s still much better than dial-up, which is actually still an option here.

I never realized how spoiled I was paying $19.99 for an unlimited T1 connection that loaded like a lightning bolt. And any inconvenience, whether perceived or real, got me a day’s credit even if it was only 5 minutes.

Telephone and DSL options

If you’re looking for a DSL connection in Greece, you have options and should exercise your right to find the best price and service.

AltecTelecoms (bankrupt) – website with English and Greek versions; personnel to assist you by phone at 13813

Forthnet – website with English and Greek versions; personnel to assist you via phone at 801-100-8000 – website in Greek only and English (gone); personnel to assist you via phone at 13844 – website with English and Greek versions; personnel to assist you by phone at 800-111-1780

Netone – website only in Greek; personnel to assist you by phone at 13860 or 800 860-00000

OnTelecoms – website with English and Greek versions; personnel to assist you via phone at 13801

OTEnet – Biggest provider, website with English and Greek versions; personnel to assist you via phone at 801 11 35555

Q-Telecom – Basic website in Greek versions (no longer offering online services since the buyout); personnel to assist you by phone at 11899

Tellas – website with English and Greek versions; personnel to assist you via phone at 13800

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Vivodi – Website with English and Greek versions; personnel to assist you via phone at 13880

Related posts

Prepaid/pay-as-you go cell phones in Greece
3G no likey my PB
Conversations with my Greek cell phone provider


  EllasDevil wrote @ May 12th, 2007 at 22:14

It’s probably worth mentioning that with the advent of LLU (Local Loop Unbundling), you also can look at taking the whole service away from OTE and go to a company like Tellas or OnTelecoms etc…

Although LLU is only available in certain areas and in Kifissia, it was coming by the end of March, then by the end of April, now currently states by the end of June.

So don’t hold your breath! 🙂

  Daniel wrote @ October 28th, 2007 at 21:29

Thanks for the links to different operators, it would be really nice to find out which one works the best. Please keep this one updated. I’m all through with bits&bytes and their likes.

A couple of american friends who went to get their power switched on used their manager, a nice american-greek gentleman with a greek last name for their visit to the power company, the contract was done in his name, power came on suprisingly quick. Perhaps it could work at OTE?

  Kat wrote @ October 30th, 2007 at 07:36

ED, that’s great info and thanks for sharing. I admit to not knowing much about it, so it’d be great if you could keep us updated so I can revise this article to tell readers about other options. 🙂

D- We used our connections at OTE, and my fiance has a Greek name. It depends on the office servicing the area and the technician who opens the gate. We were lucky, we had a signal in a few days and our gate opened within 10 days; it could have been sooner, but the technician chose to go home early and have coffee in another area. We’re not complaining. Ten days is speedy in comparison to most people who wait 30 days to 3 months.

  dwain wrote @ December 7th, 2008 at 09:53

So apart from your Vodafone 3G giving you problems do you recommend it? Is there any particular company listed above that you’ve heard is fairly decent and reliable? Notice that I’m not asking for brilliance; I would settle for working internet 25 out of 30 days.

I’m hesitant to do the wireless because of speed issues (I transfer a lot of large picture files), but if it’s the easiest and least bureaucratic, I might be convinced.

  Kat wrote @ December 12th, 2008 at 00:17

Dwain — I recommend checking into a regular ADSL line for your needs; it’s likely available in your area, and it will be much faster and offer more volume than a 3G connection. I hear from others that OTE is getting better, should you go that route.

The only reason we tolerate a 3G with its slow speed and limited monthly volume is because there is nothing else available to us in our area. So it’s that or nothing.

Regarding the bureaucracy, it’s actually the same whether you get a 3G or a landline DSL with wireless modem. The only reason it took us 5 minutes to get a 3G is because we both had established subscriptions with them, so we’d already submitted the papers they needed and had them on file.

  Haydn wrote @ September 25th, 2009 at 09:35

To update the “old saga” of broadband.

Having waited three years for the exchange that services our village to be updated, it took only two days after my request for broadband to be connected by OTE.

Things ARE on the up…….

Kat Reply:

We technically had an ADSL/phone line within 48 hours, but it never worked…and still doesn’t after two years and trying every provider possible. And we live in Athens. We’re moving. That’s the only way to solve it.

  FMS wrote @ September 25th, 2009 at 19:44

My understanding is that “broadband” is not ADSL; broadband is a cable connection that exists in Greece only for rich companies. This lack of cable (including tv etc) was decided by the Simitis government in the late 1990s, who preferred to protect the financial interested of their Pasok friends. Some computer experts protested, but the Greek people were not interested.

You reap what you sow.

Kat Reply:

You’re correct. ADSL is not broadband.

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