Being online in Great Britain

We visited Scotland this year and having my own little business, having access to the internet was important to me.

It was a lot easier than expected. Very many Hotels and B&Bs have WiFi nowadays – a lot more than in Ireland two years ago. So it was easy to go online with my laptop. Except for the B&B that had WEP2, which my (old) laptop doesn’t support.

Just for the heck of it, I also wanted to have internet access with my cell phone – that however was quite difficult.

The mobile company “Three” seemed to offer good rates for prepaid connections. I had researched that before. However, they don’t sell them at the store. The vendor guy send us to the O2 store next door.

Okay, O2 *does* sell them. But they are terribly complicated. I purchased a SIM card for 10 GBP here (without having to register it to my name, surprisingly). But the internet access didn’t work. I had to activate it with a scratch card. Then (as I found out with my laptop and WiFi next day) I had to book a “bolt-on” with a special SMS (“web” to 21300) and wait almost 48 hours as O2 took its sweet time processing it. Then (with another internet research) I had to correct the APN (payandgo.o2.co.uk / vertigo / password) which the SIM provides wrong by default. And then it finally worked. However, I’m only allowed to use it on my cell phone, now with the laptop…

Now I only have to remember to cancel the “bolt-on” (SMS “web off” to 21300) before I return home….

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