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Communications (Telephone, Internet, TV, Post)

Cairo - Communications (Telephone, Internet, TV, Post)

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Telephone service in Cairo apartments is typically handled by the landlord, because telephone service providers prefer to provide service to entire buildings, rather than individual tenants. You will be billed by the landlord every six months for your telephone usage. If you are using your telephone line for dial up internet service, a typical phone bill will be about LE 1000 every six months.

Once you have acclimated to Cairo, you may request to handle your telephone bills yourself. Each community has its own telephone service branch, and local newspapers will publish when telephone bills are due. You can obtain a copy of the actual telephone bill from your landlord, and contact the local service branch to determine the amount of your portion of the bill. You should keep a copy of the invoice to submit to the landlord, so you are not double charged for your telephone service.

Telephone service is considered unreliable, and outages are common. Expect to experience outages every day.

Many expatriates opt to use phone cards at local pay phones, rather than deal with outages and the uncertain charges that landlords may impose for residential telephone service. Phone cards are readily accessible at supermarkets and some small stores and stalls.

Using just an antenna, you can pick up seven television stations in Cairo. NileTV is an English channel, but during Ramadan, this channel shows Arabic movies with English subtitles. Video rental stores are also very common in Cairo, and carry a variety of foreign English language films.

To send mail, you will need to visit the main post office located on Midan Ataba. You can also visit the poste restante located next to the main post office to arrange to pick up your mail or have it held for you. The poste restante will hold your mail for up to three weeks.

If you have a traditional telephone line in your apartment, you will be able to access the internet for free by dialing into a special telephone number that starts with 0777. Otherwise, you can purchase internet access cards, visit one of the growing number of internet cafes, or connect via wifi for free at one of several cafes, including Cilantro or Beanos. Some McDonalds locations in Cairo also offer free wifi.

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