Published on: 15 January 2020
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Internet subscriptions for your home
Who can do without the Internet? To communicate, work, have fun, get information and even pay, everything goes through the Internet. Unfortunately, the home you plan to move into does not necessarily have Internet included. To feel truly at home in France, you need Internet at home and a mobile plan for your phone. Here’s a little overview of how it works, so you can get a clearer picture of the options you have.
Getting Internet when moving in
Internet is fundamental for almost everything
Internet rhythms most of our modern lives. In 2018, more than 85% of the French population will be using the Internet for at least one hour a day, compared to barely 10% in 2000. This is even more noticeable among young people, who spend almost 20 hours a week on the Internet for 18-25 year olds. The young are particularly dependent on the Internet, since they can find an immense amount of knowledge for their studies. They use it not only for entertainment, but also to pay and manage their budget.
In short, living without the Internet is very difficult today. This is why it is necessary to take out an Internet subscription, and above all to choose it carefully!
How do I choose my Internet plan and Internet provider?
Some tenants might choose to access the Internet via their mobile phone package, through their telephone operator's 4G network. They access the Internet via their mobile phone, which they can connect to their computer with a shared connection. They can also go for 4G box offers. This kind of solution is ideal for those who:
- live in the city: debit is higher and more stable than in the countryside
- consume little data: mainly use internet to consult webpages, e-mails or short videos
- have a tight budget: it’s a cost-efficient solution since it the subscription covers for both telephone and internet needs.
L’autre option plébiscitée est de souscrire un abonnement internet en plus d’un abonnement téléphonique. L’accès à Internet dans le logement se fait cette fois-ci par une box, en accès wi-fi et filaire. Le locataire qui se tourne vers cette solution est donc plutôt :
- un locataire pouvant être logé en campagne : contrairement au réseau 4G, la connexion à Internet via un abonnement Internet est souvent de très bonne qualité y compris loin des villes
- un locataire utilisant activement Internet : jeux vidéos, films et séries, consultation de fichiers lourds (type PDF de cours), etc.
- un locataire avec un budget un peu moins limité : c’est une option plus chère que la précédente.
The second option is to take out an internet subscription in addition to a telephone subscription. With this option, you access Internet with wi-fi and wired access, through a box. You’d want to go for this solution :
- if you live in the countryside: coverage is better than with 4G, even when you’re far from the city.
- you use the Internet actively: video games, movies and series, consulting heavy files (PDF files for class for example), etc.
How do I choose my internet provider?
Whether you go for the first solution or the second, you’ll have to choose or mobile/internet provider. For those who prefer to take out a telephone subscription only, the choice between operators mainly depends on your geographical area. SFR's network may be of better quality than that of Orange in one region, but not as good as that of Bouygues Télécom in another. It’s difficult to get the correct information for sure, so you can always ask for feedback from people living close to you.
For tenants choosing to take out a mobile subscription + internet via a box, it is convenient to choose the same operator for both subscriptions. This usually allows you to benefit from advantageous rates. Regarding the choice of operators, it’s difficult to make a clear recommendation. Some operators are expensive but provide a quality service (speed, customer service, etc.), others are a little more affordable but offer poorer service.
There are four main providers in the mobile and Internet market in France, being Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile. All 4 offer both internet and mobile phone plans, along with TV and fixed phones lines. Coverage is fairly similar, although Free’s mobile 4g coverage is slightly behind.
These providers also have low-costs brands : B&You for Bouygues Telecom, Sosh for Orange, RED by SFR for SFR and Alice Internet for Free (it’s not free though).
Internet offers in France are quite competitive. It might be worth your while comparing them.
Good news ! If you’re planning on taking advantage of your stay in France to wander around Europe, know that your calls and texts issued from the European Union will be charged the same as they are in France!
How do I choose my plan?
Access; check. Provider: check! Now you need to select your plan among those offered by your provider. Here is a non-exhaustive list of criteria to help you choose a mobile package:
- the number of SMS/MMS: most plans have unlimited SMS and limited MMS
- length of calls: this can vary from 1 hour to unlimited depending on the plan
- the extra cost for calls, SMS and MMS sent and received from abroad.
- 4G bundle: it can vary from a few MB (consulting web pages or emails only) to several hundred GB (long videos and other activities that consume a lot of mobile data)
For an internet package offer with a Box, you should check the following:
- Bandwidth: you will not need the same subscription if you regularly download large files as if you just read your e-mails.
- the type of connection: ADSL or fibre, bearing in mind that not all buildings are yet equipped with fibre. Fibre offers a significantly higher speed than ADSL for an additional cost that is not so high, sometimes without extra cost at all.
- duration of contract: if you’re only staying in your accommodation for 6 months, be careful not to take out a subscription that has 12-month commitment!
- TV channels included in the package, if there are any additional costs (termination fees… )
Of course, all these elements will impact the price of your subscription: it’s up to you to find the offer that best suits your needs and your budget.
How to install internet in my home?
Documents you’ll need
Whether you want to open a bank account, take out an electricity contract or an Internet subscription, you will have to put up a file. For a mobile and Internet subscription, the requested documents are the following:
- Proof of address (EDF bill, internet bill, home insurance certificate, etc.)
- Your details email, phone number…)
- Bank details: you will need them to pay for your subscription by direct debit from your bank account.
Once you’ve put up your file, you can contact the provider you have chosen. You can be guided through the steps on their website or on the phone with a counsellor. For a mobile subscription, you must wait until you receive your SIM card to be able to use the service (calls, SMS, Internet).
For an Internet subscription, you must first receive the box or pick it up from a provider’s store. An ADSL box is fairly easy to install yourself by following the instructions. A fibre box requires the intervention of a technician. This can take several days, so plan the process a little in advance if you want to access the internet as soon as you check-in!
How do I terminate my Internet subscription?
When you move out, you will have to cancel your Internet subscription. You may cancel your subscription before the end date indicated on your contract by giving notice to your provider. This operation has a cost, including for non-binding subscriptions. In general, you should be prepared to pay around 50 euros.
To cancel your subscription, send a cancellation letter to your provider and return the equipment according to the procedure indicated by the provider.
Studapart helps you with your internet and mobile subscriptions
Resources so you don’t get lost in procedures
Subscribing to an internet and/or mobile phone subscription adds to the long list of administrative necessary formalities to move in. Taking out an electricity contract, building a rental application, choosing a home insurance policy ... You might feel a bit overwhelmed, but that’s only natural! Consult our resource centre to find all you need to know on the different steps of the rental process
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If you haven’t found what you were looking for in our resource centre, feel free to email us or give us a call. Our team speaks several language and is available 6/7 days a week to answer your questions.