I wrote about broadband internet in Olongapo, Philippines in August 2020. More specifically, how it affected me at my house and lot. I considered fiber internet, which I believe is still the best available option there. Over the last year, I’ve done some things I told myself I would never do while outside the country.
There are at least six high school students (nieces and nephews) living in the compound. There’s at least one more at a nearby residence. They are a fraction of all the people living there. There are four houses in the compound, including my house. Regardless of the names on all the deeds, My wife, Josie, and I own everything.
Once the schools were closed due to the pandemic, the students had to use their cell phones and borrow laptop computers to do their studies. It was difficult, so I started buying laptop computers. The goal was to have each house share at least one. I bought four altogether, with one not being within the compound. Because I waited for sales in both countries, I spent less than $1500 for all of them. Two of them were on sale for $200 each.
The students have had to piggyback on other people’s Wi-Fi connections, which weren’t very good to begin with. I finally broke down and had a sister-in-law’s husband get a fiber connection installed inside my house, in a room closest to the other houses. The last house in the row, my mother-in-law’s house, couldn’t get signals inside the house because the walls are cement.
I sent the same husband to buy a repeater or router. He returned with a two-mode unit, which worked better as an additional router connected by a network cable. The cable is now stretched from one window to another, high enough to be avoided by the tallest people alive.
The side effect is that everyone in the compound, regardless of who or where they are, have Wi-Fi signals on their laptop computers and cell phones. I don’t mind as long as it won’t interfere with the signal going to the master bedroom. One of my nieces tested the signal as far away from the router in the house as possible and the signal was still strong.
There are two Wi-Fi passwords to contend with, one for each router. One of my nephews is tasked with security. When brownouts occur, the routers will reset to their default passwords, which are published online. His job is to reset them immediately afterward and to fill in the passwords on the various devices when necessary. He’s the only person who knows them.
At the current foreign currency exchange rate, this fiber connection is costing me around $50 USD every month. Again, I don’t mind. When I finally return to the Philippines, I won’t have to worry about getting connected again. Hopefully, that’ll happen before the end of this year.