At this age, one of the most important thing that you need is to be connected. Hence, the addition of WIFI to the latest unofficial version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is no joke.
Before I came here, I thought I’d get it all covered. Thought I’d get myself a new iPhone as soon as I reach Tokyo and thought I’d have a seamless internet connection at home because I’m using this pocket wifi.
Well, kita hanya boleh merancang. Things didn’t turn out as smooth as I thought it would be.
I stalled the plan to get a phone considering the terms of the contract and the pocket wifi that I was using was super slow. Because of that, I had trouble going online. I was relying on the free public wifi on the bus, on the subway station, at school and at shopping malls. Seriously, I was sitting on the floor at the Tokyo Metro station to reply emails and walked to Diver City and sat inside the mall to submit my assignment.
So one day I thought, this is enough. I need to get fibre-optic internet at home! Here are the things I noted throughout the process:
#1 They offer services in English, but lines are limited to 9 to 5
The place I’m staying is promoting NTT’s FLETS Hikari. They have a number specifically for English customers which is cool, but their lines are only open 9 to 5 — the time when I’m really busy at school.
#2 Ease of registration
The time I managed to call them within their opening hours, I felt so relieved. All I had to do was to send a copy of my Resident Card to NTT to get myself registered. Woohoo!
#3 The cable provider and internet provider are separate entities
The next day they called me to discuss the plans, where the suggested that I take Asahi Net’s internet plan (the internet provider). I thought NTT was providing everything… but no. NTT is like the cable provider, while Asahi Net is like the internet provider. It’s pretty confusing because back home, we only needed to deal with a single entity to get the internet fixed — here, I’ve to deal with separate entities.
#4 Fixing an appointment is easy, but the wait list is long
Anyway, fixed an appointment for the NTT engineer to come to my place to install the modem and activate the connection, however the engineer would only come a week later -_-
When the day came, though, I missed the appointment by 15 minutes, so I had to reschedule it to the next week FML. The fact that the slots aren’t that many makes it so time consuming. Checked with my Japanese classmates and they told me that it’s really normal for the engineer to come to your house 1+ weeks after you call NTT.
#5 Registration details, including ID and passwords are delivered by mail
While waiting for the engineer’s arrival, I received a package from NTT, containing the WIFI router I’ve chosen to rent from them for a year. I also received letters from both NTT and Asahi on details of my plans, user IDs and passwords.
#6 They can get things mixed up
I received a call from the Japanese engineers the day before my appointment. Thought it’s clear that my service is in English, so I called NTT again to ask about it and they were a little blur. I asked about my appointment and they said there was no record of it -_-
After they checked again, they said, yes, it’s there in the morning and when I surprised (because I was pretty sure that I booked the evening slot, so I can rush home after class) they told me that my appointment is in the evening… as scheduled.
So pening. You thought everything is seamless in Japan, ha!
#7 Installation procedures are fast, but they only activate the connection, but not the internet access (kot)
The engineers came yesterday. They installed the modem and checked the connection, asked me to sign some form and left.
Then I remembered what Reza told me about activating the internet:
“You make sure you boleh online sebelum orang NTT tu balik! Kalau tak, you kena set sendiri nanti.”
Yup, after they left, I couldn’t get connected at all!!!
#8 Dealing with separate entities can be confusing
It’s been years since I got internet installed at home so I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to do. Called NTT and explained the situation and the signals modem were sending, they told me to call Asahi. Called Asahi and said the same thing, they told me to call NTT. They were very accommodating, but it was still exhausting because I’m so used with the centralized system in Malaysia — where I only needed to call one number to sort all my internet woes 24/7!
I called NTT once again and after letting them know about the “messages” that my modem was sending and we tried a couple of things until I knew that the line was activated. I just needed to connect to the internet using my Asahi ID and password. After 5PM they shut their lines, so I was left to figure it out on my own.
#9 It’s worth it
But hurdle after hurdle I’m happy to say that I’VE GOT HIGH-SPEED UNLIMITED INTERNET AT HOME NOW!