Living “without” Internet Access in Sweden

Five months already we lived in Sweden. We’ve been accommodated exactly in the heart of science and civilization. Situated right between Karolinska sjukhuset and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Yet we still do not have equal internet access.

Our problem simply because our apartment was primarily provided for elderly and therefore do not provide internet and in order to subscribe internet, all companies we contacted required personnummer which we don’t have. Mobile data internet? It is too costly to support our internet-based needs from home (downloading journals, watching Hans Rosling’s video, etc).

To use KI internet by coming to the campus during the night was a quite promising idea in the beginning but soon became not sustainable as Son and Mom need some assistance during the evening. No single party could assist us. Neither Global Master programme, nor KI Housing, nor Swedish Institute, nor Komun (government).

Thus, our “indigenous”, “local acted”, yet genuine and creative solution revealed! We simply decided that every Saturday we move our house to KI Library so both Mom and Dad can work on their extra office hour work and thesis with other assignment while Son can still play and enjoy his day. Thanks God we live across the street (of KI campus)!!! We come as early as possible, bring lunch, snacks, and a part of dinner and leave the library as late as we could and make sure all tasks are submitted because we’ll be connected to the (real) internet world again on Mondays.

This story may sound exaggerating a bit. Internet need is not as critical as food need. But for students like us, is the fourth priority after housing, food and winter clothes. However, from this experience I could learn many things. Things that one always needs to remember one day when one especially become a policy maker. 1st, being in resource rich setting does not always mean you have access to sufficient/good/quality service. 2nd, solutions often come from the local, not the international organization or external funder. 3rd, no matter how huge resources we had, never get bored to spend some time to evaluate the programme we make, we may still miss one or two vulnerable group. At the same time, we will also never satisfy everyone needs.

#internetequality #internetishumanrigth #localwisdom #thinkglobalactlocal #whenthereisawilltherewillbeaway #personnummerdefinesyourQOL


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