Current ADSL internet providers / offers

Hi all. My first post here…

We own a holiday home in the Haut Var and I am looking into the usual suspects for ADSL internet. Don’t need a phone package, but appreciate most come with call plans as a bundle. So far, I’ve discovered:

SFR - 15,00 euro per month for first 12, then 33,00 with 49,00 connection
Sosh (budget by Orange) - 19,99 per month (can’t tell what rises to nor connection charge)
Orange - 22,99 per month for first 12 months rising to 36,99 with 40,00 connection
Bouygues Telecom - 14,99 per month for first 12 months rising to 25,99 with 48,00 connection
Free - 14,99 per month for first year rising to 34,99 with 49,00 connection
Red (budget of SFR) 16,00 per month (can’t tell what rises to after 12 months) with 29,00 connection

I’m tempted with RED by SFR as they can deliver the router / modem to our local Proxi shop and therefore I can organise this before we arrive on the 4th August - got to keep the kids happy and online as soon as we arrive (!!) and I will need to hook up for work fairly quickly too.

Have I missed any of the other main providers? All I need is ADSL for as cheap as possible…! I know Sosh (from past experience) is online-only (as too probably is RED) but happy to take the risk as is cheaper.

Advice, suggestions and experiences please!



What’s the phone signal like - 4G internet might be a possibility.

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Hi Paul. According to no chance - very rural village. I get 4G stood outside the house on my mobile and doesn’t work inside.

In which case it might still be a possibility but you will need a 4G router which can be connected to an external antenna (some swear by 4G signal boosters but I’m not a huge fan and they are of questionable legality).

You might even then get away with a UK SIM with a good data allowance - some of the deals are very good at the moment.

It is a solution which requires a bit more techy/DIY ability though (there are off the shelf solutions like the Bouygues box that has been discussed on the forum previously - not sure if they will connect to an external antenna).

Worth running a speed test on the phone when you are there to see if it is a viable option.

I’m quite lucky in that we have VDSL in the village so when I visit I get 70Mb/s downloads and 11Mb/s up which suffices for all of my needs.

You said you only needed ADSL - what do do on the 'net when en France, do you need UK catch up TV for instance or are you happy with just browsing?

Have you tried to see what ADSL speed you might get?

If it is a “very rural village” it might be a long way from the exchange with poor speeds

The 4G signal from a 4G router is infinitely more powerful than the internal aerial in a mobile phone. Many of the services - such as Orange and Bouygues offer a month’s trial and are provided without contract so you have nothing to loose. The alternative is to buy a cheap 4G router ( or uk as your preference) and poke your phone sim in it to see if it works.

Yes they will @ptf - it’s how I discovered my problem with loggin in to the Hauwei B528 router because I wanted to check the routines for selecting external rather than internal aerial :wink:

and there are specially priced deals for this situation partly funded by the French State :heavy_check_mark:
Have a look a Free particularly for such a deal and run their eligibility check.

We’re the red circle:

Bouygues Telecom coverage:

Orange Mobile:

SFR Mobile:

Not sure how much streamed sucks up 4G allowance - but I get 16GB data allowance a month with EE - and I’ve still got 13GB left with 7 days to go until the month refreshes. But, on holiday, I’ll have 2 x kids who will likely stream Netflix / Disney + etc at the same time, for an hour or 2 per day, and we might watch the odd bit of Nexflix. I suspect that 16GB of data 'ain’t going to be enough for the 3 weeks we’re booked to go for in August…

We go for 2 weeks at Christmas, 2 weeks Easter, 3 weeks summer and sometimes a week in a half term - so 8 weeks per year made sense to pay a contract of c. 16 - 22 euro / month for a dedicated ADSL line - not bothered about a telephone package tho’.

What would you do…?

move to France permanently :wink:

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We’re a long way from the nearest switch and the ADSL via Free is next to useless. so the distance from switch is definitely worth investigating as others have flagged.

We now use LGTel sattelite dish and the speeds are pretty constant 20down 6up.

Have you looked at a temporary upgrade data package from your mobile provider - I’ve used my mobile as a wifi hotspot from a window sill before and connected my laptop to phone on the wifi hotspot it generates.

I would definitely plug your (or a neighbour’s) number into degrouptest.

We were previously with Sosh - so know the ADSL line speed is adequate for our use - so I’d prefer a line connection / contract instead of 4G as my mother-in-law will go and stay separately and will need connecting too…

In that case any of the above - I’d have a preference for Orange, as they own the infrastructure it means less chance that you get caught with them and another provider blaming each other and leaving you stuck in the middle but they are not the cheapest and their customer service is famously - … - French :wink:

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Tend to agree with Paul on this… from the experiences of others… which I have witnessed personally.

but each person has their own preference and special offers etc can be very tempting…

I enquired about changing to SFR. I wanted to keep my number, but according to them the address for that number was somewhere else completely. I gave up.

There are a few points you need to establish, 1. Speed available from ADSL and also 4G, 2. How many months in the year will you use the property, 3. monthly data use. 4. Your budget
I would always start by contacting a neighbour (if you know them yet!) as they will be the most reliable source of accurate information. If not then refer to the speed sites already quoted by others.
Next is the 4G question. Yes it does work and is reliable. As an example I know of one office with 50 staff running entirely off one 4G router+antenna. A router’s internal antenna is 4-5 times more powerful than a mobile phone. Add an external antenna and that then multiplies by another factor of 4-5. Such antenna are totally legal but beware as some are not compatible with the French mobile system. If you have an external mobile phone signal of 1-2 bars then a router plus antenna should work fine. The choice is huge and confusing. Ask existing users or an expert.
Data use. Choose ADSL and usage is normally unlimited, but for mobile data you need to be careful. A normal UK (no-gaming) home can get through 300GB per month. Remove 4K and HD streaming of TV etc and you may still use 100GB. UK SIMS have a roaming allowance yet its often small, say up to 25GB/month on a 250GB SIM. If you go over the roaming limit (or don’t use it in the UK) and you have the option to pay for more then its expensive. A local SIM is best and you’re choice is 30-day “no contract” or a near PAYG option such as Reglo ( e.Leclerc’s own branding of SFR). Cost is from 20€ per month upwards for 100GB so cheap enough to try a few until you hit on the best. Again, ask the neighbours is the key.
If your property is to be occupied quite frequently then ADSL is good so long as you have over 1.5Mbps, that’s the safe minimum for low res streaming of a TV channel on just one device. If not you’ll need 4G.
Budget. You will, probably more interested in making sure the children are happy, but cost is an issue. You’ve done the research on ADSL so your costs will be known yet will recur every month and as you’ve found, at 12 months they’re likely to increase.
4G is a one off hit then pretty much PAYG. A good 4G router will be 150€, a suitable antenna will also cost the same. Monthly will be from 20€ but if you’re not using the property then you can let it lapse. Finally, are you aware of the French Haut Debit master plan under which ADSL is being withdrawn and replaced by fibre or 4G ? Before you make your decision it may be worth asking when your own ADSL will be affected. If you need any more info you can PM me.

Hi Andrew. Thanks for the detailed response - most appreciated! I’d prefer to stick with ADSL - so my mother-in-law can visit without us and still be able to connect easily / simply. Also, I know the speeds we used to get when we were with Sosh previously. I have tried the phone number for Orange to try to speak to a dedicated English-speaking representitive - but no luck. Has anyone got a direct number for English-speaking staff - the number I tried had lots of menus in French that I didn’t understand (09 69 36 39 00).
Does anyone know how long it normally takes to connect once you sign up? The house has a land line already (and was connected to Sosh until only a couple of months ago). Ideally, I want to sign up now so it is all ready to connect the modem when we arrive on the 5th August…
SFR, and it’s cheaper “online-only” little brother RED, can deliver the modem to the local Proxi store - so we could get that set up now and sent there before we travel - but the website asks for a French mobile number to confirm the account set up! I’ll go with Orange if I can speak directly to someone who speaks English… Stu

English speaking helpline for Orange is as you posted. Sometimes it starts off in French but if you hold on, it then reverts to English. This experience from about half an hour ago and over the past few days.
Are you calling from France or the UK?