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How to set up your broadband in France

PUBLISHED: 13:58 13 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:58 13 January 2017

Setting up broadband in France © Stockbyte / Thinkstockphotos

Setting up broadband in France © Stockbyte / Thinkstockphotos

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A step-by-step guide to setting up broadband in your new French property so you can stay connected with friends and family

1. Get a phone line installed

If your property already has a working telephone line, or there has been one within the last two year, the service can be set up for just €55 if you provide the number or name of the last subscriber. The line should be up and running within 5 working days.

If the property hasn’t had a line in the last 2 years then an engineer will have to visit to install one. It will cost €124 and should be active within 10 working days.

2. Test your broadband speed

In many rural areas of France broadband speed is slow and so make sure you get your phone line tested before you sign up to a package. Most suppliers will do this for you for free. They can test an active line to the property or a close neighbour’s line and give you an approximate speed. A speed less than 1MB will be slow and you won’t be able to have video calls with a speed less than 2MB. You can also test the speed yourself on www.degrouptest.com by inserting the telephone number.

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3. Order your broadband service

Unlike in the UK, where you can order a new line and broadband at the same time, you have to wait until the line is working in France before ordering your broadband service. Once the order is placed you can expect to wait a further 10 days for the service to go live.

Plans for a high-speed broadband network in France

Announced in 2013, the réseau haut débit (THD), literally translated as ‘very high-speed network’, is a €20bn plan to deliver high-performance internet connectivity across the whole of France by 2022. It is designed to make the French economy more competitive but also means that households will benefit from a faster internet connection and be able to watch several HD television channels at once or download music or films really quickly. Although the THD is a national initiative, its implementation is being managed on a regional level. The roll-out has already begun, with larger towns first on the list, and schools, hospitals and universities given priority. It will then be rolled out generally. To find out when the service is due to arrive in your area, http://www.francethd.fr/l-observatoire/l-observatoire-france-tres-haut-debit.html

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If your broadband is too slow then try satellite broadband

Satellite broadband can be a good alternative to regular broadband if your line speed is too slow. As the name suggests it works by connecting with a satellite so there is no need for a phone line, you just need to be in line of sight to the satellite, and speed is guaranteed to be 20MB or more. However, it is expensive and you have to buy a monthly data allowance.

Bob Elliott is commercial director of UK Telecom

1 comment

  • Our rural broadband speed (ha! We call it tinyband) delivers barely .5 MB. Amazingly we can and do have successful Skype calls and even more amazingly can watch Netflix with barely any buffering. It does though drive me crazy that despite the fact I pay for a notional 20 MB and constantly say to FT since they acknowledge my speed cannot be improved why isn't there a tariff that better reflects the reality. The usual Gallic shrug is the response. Now that you can buy satellite internet that can be switched on and off this is the way to go, though as I say it is surprising how our minuscule connection performs well enough. Apart from the unpredictable drop outs, and the fact it stops working for 2 hours if we are dumb enough to answer the phone.

    Report this comment

    Tony Lancaster

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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