Internet speed choices?


(Roland SALVATO) #1

I would be very grateful if anyone knows about this subject area:


I am asking these questions in advance of visiting france for 6 months: Are there any weak links in the internet services available to me from an apartment in a small village? (let's say, Le Caylar in Languedoc)


How could I maximize the speed and/or what are the limits?


Should I expect a FURNISHED 6-month rental to come equipped with internet access?


(Should I expect a 6-month rental to come with furniture?!)



Thank you!


(Peter Bird) #2

Le Caylar is very rural so I wouldn't expect there to be Haut Débit but check first.


(Brian Milne) #3

Ideally a household with two or more youngsters aged above about eight! That is a sterling test!


(Simon Armstrong) #4

Roland as a tip - once you've identified possible accommodation, just find out one of your new neighbours' fixed line phone numbers, postcode, address and pop them into http://www.degrouptest.com/ which should give you a fair idea of the services and top (not always 'guaranteed' !) speeds available in your chosen location. As with anywhere, speeds will depend on distances from the main supply junction, number of subscribers and peak time usage.


(John Brian) #5

I live in a rural location with a slow Internet connection but am never inconvenienced by it. I surf the web, upload photos and videos, listen to Internet radio most of the time, use iPlayer and filmon on my iPad, use Skype and have free VOIP phone calls. I’m not sure what else I need. It is 100% reliable and good value. I certainly wouldn’t consider satellite Internet with its associated costs.


(Brian Milne) #6

A lot, like 95%, of our work depends on a good connection. OK, we survive and are not so much stressed as annoyed that if we complain to Orange they 'blame' France Telecom although they are one and the same. We have a Zattoo subscription for streaming TV, it freezes so often it is hardly worth using it. Our line speeds have been measured as low as 2.8Mbps but average out at less than 5Mbps. There are line speed maps of France made by people who are trying to get the government to act. Unfortunately, it seems that people do not know until they know because they do not get at all what the company they are provided by is advertising as line speeds. We considered satellite but following enquiries on here, including James the site's 'father', we have established it is patchy. Again, you have to provide your own equipment so that is useless for short lets and just in case you were thinking about it, the TV sats do not give internet access.

Mobile telephony is pretty good. I can wander about in the forest including into quite deep gulleys and always have reception yet there are open places with dead spots around. However, France has perhaps among the best coverage in Europe when one considers that both London and Berlin have a few blind spots with weak to no coverage.


(Roland SALVATO) #7

Okay -- I just learned more from you all than I had in the past six months.

I suspected the tech would be such. John, does it differ by distance from some particular provider hubs...or is it by region? Any maximums or optimum service anywhere in particular? I don't know much about satellite technology, but maybe that's the way to go.

Brian, does the internet speed that you have to deal with make what you are trying to do maddening, or practically unbearable? Is it a stress-inducer or is it just something to get used to? I think the expectation of a higher speed is something I should try to get rid of right away. I want to do property and language research and imagine needing the internet a lot.

How about cell phones and smart phone usage -- any better overall as long as cell towers are available?

I'm gonna try a gite, Simon. I'm hoping they need the business. I'm going to use a bed and breakfast as a base to find a rental, as long as I don't have to contact the gites too many weeks in advance.

Thank you!


(Brian Milne) #8

True, gîtes may be your solution but out of season. In season, especially high season, the best ones may already be booked for next year and they are the ones who have access, often to the owner's wifi nearby.


(Simon Armstrong) #9

As you're just looking to rent for six months - maybe try a gite. Many gite owners will rent longer term e.g. 2 x 3 month contracts and many gites are equipped with WiFi access - the average, reliable speed in our rural Gites is around 15mbps - pretty decent - but not in the Languedoc!

You could also try http://www.gites-professionnels.com/ - aimed at people on short-medium term work placements.


(Brian Milne) #10

A six month rental would be fully furnished (by their definition) but hard to find, I actually know of four apartments far from where you are looking but the owner is letting the tenancies run out to stop letting that way because it costs her as much as she makes with the periods when they are empty. Nowhere would be equipped with internet access, that is up to you to sort out yourself. If you are looking for a six month line rental then you will be up against it, most contracts are one year minimum. As for speed choices, you probably need a soothsayer. Whilst France has potentially the largest internet coverage of almost all countries, line speeds vary enormously. Ours are on average at best about a quarter of what our provider claims we have, often slower. Some friends about 12km away usually have superfast speeds, some days they have nigh on nothing at all. Progress toward fibre optic is slow to slower, the national and departmental maps showing when that will be 'completed' (the 2012 version of this department's plan to 2024 has numerous places not on the plan, we are smack dab in the middle of one of those) so your chances are probably slim that you would find somewhere not only with provision but that meets your expectations. Villages in general are low down the 'food chain' so as great France is to live in you need to be at least tolerant (and forgiving) with regard to modern technology.


(John Brian) #11

Internet speed is very specific to your particular location. As far as I know a six month rental would be unusual.