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Setting up home phone, internet, and TV in France

Updated: Sep 10, 2022

You've found a new place to live in France, right? Get your home phone, internet, and television set up in France with the help of our step-by-step tutorial.

There are those expats whose idea of the perfect home is a light-filled flat in the heart of Paris. For the rest of you, we have a gite on the French Riviera waiting for you. Setting up your home's communication systems is one of the first things you will need to do after beginning your adventure in the French way of life.

The notion of setting up your television, home phone, and internet connection in France might seem daunting if you are a recent immigrant to the country. But it isn't always the case.


Are you moving to France and want to get the finest connections for your new property there? SFR provides home phone, internet, and TV packages that are suitable for expats and are priced to meet a variety of needs and preferences. Choose from a variety of alternatives, such as cable with fiber optics, free calls to foreign destinations, and television channels from all around the globe. Establish a relationship with SFR.

Make some connections.

Communications in France

If you have just arrived in France, you may find that you are pleasantly pleased to learn how competitive the telecommunications industry of the nation is. There is an increasing number of service providers from whom you may choose, and many of them provide a diverse selection of offerings. However, as we will go over in more detail later on in this book, your ability to pick your provider will be determined by the location you now call home.

If you can compare prices for television, telephone service in your house, and internet connections, the following companies are among the largest telecommunications providers in France:

● Bouygues Telecom

● Free

● Orange


When you sign up for several services from the same provider, you may be eligible for discounts on bundles of those services. There are several that also provide discounts on mobile phone subscriptions. Do some comparison shopping to see if you can reduce your monthly phone bill and save some extra money.

However, you are not required to purchase the services you want from one of the primary providers, and it is often in your best interest to look at a variety of other vendors to ensure you receive the best possible bargain. You won't have any trouble doing this task if you use an internet comparison tool like Je Change or Que Choisir. However, you should be aware that these websites are written in French; thus, it is highly recommended that you practice your French language abilities in advance.

Getting connected in a new home

It doesn't matter whether you're renting in Rouen or purchasing in Biarritz; when you move in, one of the most important things you'll need to do is set up your home entertainment system, including a television, a telephone, and an internet connection.

If you are moving into a new house that you are renting, the connection to these services may already be in place. If this is the case, the cost will most likely be included in the rent that you pay each month. However, before you sign any paperwork, you need to make sure that you and they are on the same page regarding this matter. You must understand what your rental payment includes, what comes to be associated with your name, and what the terms of the contract cancellation or change involve (such as fees).

If you rent an apartment that is considered to be serviced, you may expect that the provision of communication services will be part of the regular package. After that, you could have the option to switch to a different service provider or keep utilizing the connections you now have. You may be able to get a better price elsewhere; but, if you are only going to be there for a short time, switching service providers may not be worth your time.

Getting a landline telephone in France

Although mobile phones are very popular across France, a traditional landline connection is still required to utilize residential broadband services. Historically, Orange, which was formerly known as France Télécom, has held a dominant position in the market. This dominant position was an inheritance from the company's days when it was the only public telecom company. However, in modern times, an increasing number of other operators have entered the sector. Despite this, Orange continues to wield a significant amount of power as a result of the exceptional "zone" character of the French telecommunications network.

Stay connected with our guide to getting a French SIM card

To begin the process of activating any kind of telecommunications service in France, the first step is to determine the zone in which you now reside. There are three different sorts of zones, and the services that are accessible to you are determined by these zones:

Zone de dégroupage complete – You are free to choose the service provider of your choice for any services, although you will still be required to pay line rental to Orange. However, the local network has been unbundled so that rivals may use it.

Zone de dégroupage partiel - The local network has been largely unbundled, and Orange will handle your fixed telephone connection. However, you will have the option of selecting services from a variety of different providers in addition to Orange.

Zones non-dégroupées – Orange is the sole company that owns and operates the local network, which is bundled and only available in specific rural regions. Other service providers may rent access to the network.

It is highly recommended that you investigate this system before signing up for any kind of telecommunications service since many foreigners find it to be exasperatingly complicated. You shouldn't worry too much, however, since the majority of France is either completely or substantially unbundled already. The quality of service provided by companies other than Orange may be unreliable in some bundled and partly bundled areas of the country. On the other hand, you shouldn't have any trouble utilizing another provider for your landline service in the vast majority of metropolitan regions. Keep in mind that landline-only solutions are only offered by Orange and SFR and that it is often more cost-effective to have several services from the same provider.

Where can I find the instructions for setting up my landline telephone in France?

To begin, you must determine the time zone in which you now reside. To set up your connection with Orange, you will need to contact the company even if you reside in an area that is either partly or fully bundled. You will need to provide evidence of identification (such as a passport or a residency permit) as well as proof of address (such as an additional utility bill or a rental contract), but after that, you should have your connection established within a few days.

You will still be required to set up your connection with Orange and pay a monthly price (abonnement) for the line, even if you are in an area that does not provide bundling. After then, Orange will immediately send you a charge for any calls you make, unless you later switch to another operator and have your service billed by that company instead. However, even if you switch to a different carrier, you will still be required to pay the monthly price to Orange to preserve your number.

If there is an existing connection at your new residence, connecting to the internet should not be too difficult. On the other hand, if you need a new phone line installed, an expert will visit your home and set it up for you there. This might take many weeks. If you are relocating within the same area of France, there is a possibility that you may be allowed to maintain your current phone number in exchange for a little cost.

Setting up an internet connection in France

Both asynchronous digital subscriber line (ADSL) and optical fiber connections are used to provide broadband internet service in France. On the other hand, the quality of broadband connection in some regions of France might be subpar in comparison to that of some of its European neighbors. In contrast to the great connection provided by ADSL and lightning-fast optical fiber lines in major cities and larger towns, rural communities often struggle to maintain adequate internet access.

Your location will play a role in the company that you choose for your broadband service. The vast majority of people living in France are fortunate enough to dwell in either a partly unbundled or an unbundled zone, which allows them the freedom to pick their internet service provider. Despite this, you will still be required to establish a landline telephone connection with Orange before selecting a provider for your broadband internet service. This procedure could take as long as two weeks to complete.

The broadband connection may be much lower in rural regions that are part of bundled services than it is in metropolitan centers. The availability of optical fiber connections is almost nonexistent, and even ADSL connections are subject to varying degrees of restriction. If you choose a different provider than Orange, you should be prepared for a very poor connection. Consider using satellite broadband as an alternative to ADSL if the latter is either unavailable or of low quality.

When it comes to selecting a provider, you will discover that the majority of businesses provide customers with a selection of different package options. These are what are often referred to as box packages, and their prices vary depending on the download speed as well as any other features that may be included, such as additional television channels and on-demand streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix. Make sure you choose the appropriate box for your needs. For instance, if your household spends a lot of time playing video games online, you will want a faster download speed. If, on the other hand, you exclusively use social media, you may get by with a slower download speed.

The following are some of France's major internet service providers:

● Bouygues Telecom

● Free

● Orange


● La Poste Mobile

When you purchase many services at once via a bundle, such as a TV subscription, you may take advantage of discounted pricing. As a result, it is in one's best interest to look about for the best bargain. You may do this in a brisk and uncomplicated manner by using comparison websites such as Je Change and Que Choisir.

Where can I find the instructions for setting up my internet connection in France?

The process of connecting to the internet in France is not too complicated once you have established your connection to a landline (but again, expect installation delays which generally come with anything administrative). In most cases, providers will either provide installation service or give you the necessary equipment to do the connection on your own. Keep in mind, though, that any installation instructions will most likely be written in French, so it's a good idea to have a dictionary on hand for any terms that can be confusing.

Getting a VPN in France

When migrating to a new country, protecting your personal information and keeping your internet browsing sessions private are more essential than ever before. This entails setting up a virtual private network for numerous people living abroad (VPN). You may access the internet with more anonymity and privacy by using a virtual private network (VPN), no matter where you are on the globe. They can also assist unblock material online, giving you access to all of your favorite websites and platforms no matter where you are in the world, whether at home or overseas. VPNs offered in France include:

● Atlas VPN

● CyberGhost VPN

● Express VPN

● Nord VPN

● Surfshark

● Vypr VPN

Setting up TV in France

Although recent immigrants to France may discover that the quality of the local TV service is not as high as what they are used to, French television is generally considered to be of a high standard and is easily available across the nation. The digital terrestrial television service in France is known as TNT (Télévision Numérique Terrestre) and is comparable to the Freeview service in the United Kingdom. TNT provides roughly 20 channels without a subscription fee. To get the channels, you will, however, require a more recent television. Along with your yearly taxes, you will also be required to pay a TV license, often known as a "redevance audiovisuelle."

In contrast to the majority of other European nations, only around half of families in France have subscriptions to extra TV channels. However, a large number of expats like the diverse selection of options that these businesses provide. Indeed, if you want to watch international sporting events as well as the most recent films and television programs produced in other countries, you will need to sign up for a supplementary television service.

These subscriptions are increasingly being included in the "package box packages" that are sold with household internet connections. As a result, the following companies are among the most prominent TV providers in France:

● Bouygues Telecom

● Free

● Orange


● La Poste Mobile

The final price that you pay for these television services will primarily be determined by the channel lineup that you choose to have available to you. On certain platforms, you'll be able to purchase a bundle of channels that includes entertainment and news or current affairs programming. You will, however, need to subscribe to a supplementary package to watch live sports and channels from other countries. For instance, SFR provides specialized packages for watching television in English, Indian, and a great many other languages.

What should you get on your computer? Discover the answer with our rundown of the top French mobile applications.

You also have the option of subscribing to a satellite television service, which, depending on where in France you are located, will enable you to view free television channels that originate in the United Kingdom. Satellite services such as CANALSAT are also available for French television; but, to use any satellite TV services, you will need to set up a dish in your home. Read our guide to TV and radio in France to learn more about obtaining a television license, watching television for free over the air, connecting to satellite television, and much more.

How do I set up my TV in France?

Have you made up your mind on which television service provider delivers the channels that you and your family need? Now is the moment to connect your house to the internet. If you already have a phone line and an internet connection that supports broadband, installing your new television service should not be too difficult for you. If, on the other hand, you are beginning completely from scratch, you will almost certainly have to install your phone line before you can connect any of your other services. This may take a few weeks to complete. If you want to use satellite services of any kind, you will need to hire a technician to set up the dish.

Your television service provider will most likely provide you with a box that is also known as a decoder and that connects to the internet connection on your television. Each provider provides a variety of these boxes, the specifics of which depend on the package that you choose; thus, it is important to carefully follow the instructions. Be aware that any instruction is likely to be in French; thus, you may need to brush up on certain terminology before beginning the installation process. In general, however, the installation process is not very difficult.

Paying bills

You may be required to supply information on your bank account as part of the process of signing up for telecommunications services in France. When you are setting up your connections, you should be aware of any extra expenses that may apply, since some service providers need an activation payment. Investigate your banking alternatives well in advance so you may open a bank account in France since this will make the procedure much simpler for you.

In general, French telecommunications firms will ask you to pay your bills via the use of a monthly automatic withdrawal from your bank account. In most cases, this is the simplest and most convenient method for making payments. Nevertheless, every single service provider will be responsible for their very own system. Your service may be terminated if you are unable to make a payment on time; thus, you should make sure that your invoices are always paid on time.

You should be aware that many service providers will charge you early cancellation fees. If you do not intend to remain a customer for the full year, you should ensure that your contract includes cancellation clauses that will enable you to leave the service without having to pay any penalties or for a full year's worth of a subscription that you do not require.

Making a complaint about a telecoms company

Do you have a problem with one of the telecom services that you get in France? If you have an issue with either your billing or your provider's customer service, the complaints department of your provider should be your first point of contact. This information ought to be available to you on the website that they provide.

You have the option to file a complaint with the National Consumer Service if your problem has not been remedied within a month or if you continue to be dissatisfied with the service. Because each provider operates its customer service, you should look for information on the service offered by your telecom provider on the internet. If you are unable to find a solution to your problem, you have the option of getting in touch with La Médiation des Communications Électronique, which is the national impartial mediator for the telecommunications industry.



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