Road Report:

RJ-11 phone jacks becoming common in Portugal

On the Road staff recently traveled through Portugal with computer in tow. Here’s a bit of what we found:

What phone jacks did you find?

We encountered a variety of modular jacks and telephone systems. We went equipped with the recommended adapter to convert a Portuguese modular phone jack (same as the Danish) to a standard RJ-11 American-style jack for our modem, but didn’t end up using it. A number of jacks and hard-wired phone cords were observed, including a British jack in a British-owned hotel, but the RJ-11 is clearly making strides as a new de facto standard in Portugal.

What about electric?

A standard adapter allowed us to plug our American electric cord into the two-prong European outlet. Our battery charger switches automatically between 110 and 220 volts, so voltage was no problem.

What did you find for hotel phones?

Several of the better hotels visited utilized digital phone systems. Check lines with a line tester before you plug in to prevent damage to modems. The other hotels generally used a tone to meter phone calls. Some interfered with our connection, others did not.

How did you connect?

Most Internet, CompuServe and AOL access numbers are in Lisbon, with a few found in Porto and Faro. Domestic calls can be expensive, especially from hotels where, even if unsuccessful, calls can quickly add up in to real money.

Your most convenient connection?

We had best luck at a bar equipped with a tariff meter that worked off an RJ-11 jack.

Contact:

For information on Internet Access Providers in Portugal go to: http://www.best.be/iap/Providers/Portugal.html. One of the best sources of general travel information we found is from Lonely Planet at: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/dest/eur/por.htm.

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