Little or no internet access, what to do?

I am looking to buy a cottage in the South Burgundy hills but the neighbours tell me that there is little or no internet access whilst Orange and the lads tell me it is fine but slow. What, if anything, can I do either to create my own little internet nest or to speed it up if it exists? What ‘speed’ should I be looking for? I have been quoted anything from 1 to 7 and only want to watch iPlayer, send emails and surf the net. Many thanks in advance for any suggestions.

We have about 1.5mb where we are and other than downloading large file - it is fine. Netflix, iplayer all work

Hi - if you have good 4g coverage from Bouygues then this is your best bet!

I have around 8 MB, which is fine for most things, though streaming occasionally gets a bit iffy.
If you know the previous phone number of the house you’re moving into, or the address and phone number of a near neighbour, you can enter that into various search sites such as DegroupTest and do a ‘test’ (in fact simulation) to see what Internet speed you can possible expect on lines in that area. I reckon 1.5 MB is pretty much on the limit side, certainly for any kind of live streaming, though OK-ish for normal use
As Simon says, if there is good 4G coverage there, you could consider a 4G router — the one by Orange is called an ‘Airbox’, but all the operators do them. I found that on a good day, I was getting sightly faster speed from mine than from the landline; however, it did tend to be quite variable. You can check 4G coverage on a coverage map, which goes down to quite detailed levels in each area.

8 meg! Luxury! :wink:

Except… the big difference with the Bouygues 4G box (launched Jan 2017) is the low price - 32.99€ / month unlimited​ use and no contract. I’m getting an average 45-50 Mbps download speed with mine and upload about the same or better.

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My guess is that if the “normal” ADSL is slow in an area, then there is no 4G coverage either.
First thing to do is to get the phone number of the cottage in question (if there is one, else pick the neighbour’s) and test it at this address : (input field “ligne fixe”)

Here in our little village in Cantal the equipment and network is being modernized by Orange, and we could be upgraded to VDSL recently. Now we have 60/15 Mbps (download/upload) vs earlier 12/1, and maybe already by the end of the year there will be optical fiber. Unimaginable!

Well you guessed wrong Krister. One is a wired network and one a mobile network - entirely different technology and no relationship between them!

The Bouygues 4G box was developed specifically for areas where ADSL (wired) coverage is poor or non existent. In fact it’s not currently available in or near large conurbations.

I suggest you read the blurb…:slight_smile:

Simon, I do know the difference between wired and mobile technologies.
4G coverage is found where there is sufficiently dense population or along main roads and motorways. In the countryside you normally get neither good wired nor good mobile connections.

There are large grey areas in the Bouygues coverage, for example Cantal in the middle of France:

Krister that is just utter rubbish! I live near a small village (200 pop) with pretty poor ADSL coverage but excellent 4g from all 3 main operators. Take a look at the Ariege 09.

But hey you believe whatever you like - my recommendation was to provide a possible alternative to those with crap fixed line services. :slight_smile:

Henry we live in the Clunisois, whereabouts are you looking?
This is the most beautiful area, which is little known. We have been made really welcome here, more so than anywhere in UK.
We have a UK IP address, but that does not allow us to receive I player.
Unless you want to download loads of films, you should be ok.
We run our gite which needs internet access and we have not found problems.

Dear Jane

I currently have a house just outside Dompierre Les Ormes but am hoping to downsize five minutes down the road toward Montmelard ( but still in the commune of D Les O ). I believe the problem is Le Mont St Cyr which looms over the hamlet. A house across The valley is fine but, on the other side of me, there’s nothing…or very little. Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

We live in Trivy, about ten minutes from yourself. Do you
know Janice in Montmelard?
The best goats cheese comes from Montmelard.
Have you found a house yet?

Yes, house on road to Matour. Turn right where you turn left for Janice. I know her well but not great on expats.


I would strongly recommend the 4G option if available. Having put up with Orange for the best part of 10 years with intermittent availability and pathetic download speeds, I decided to try the Bouygues option, based on Simon’s post of a couple of weeks ago.

What a difference!! Consistent speeds in excess of 50mbps, always available and, for an IT professional like myself, just too simple to set up - it’s all ready to work on arrival (ok so you have to connect to the wifi using the code under the router, but thats all).

We are in a village of less than 300, no 3G coverage to speak of, but the 4G is excellent. The easiest way to check it out practically is to use a Mobile that allows 4G if you have one.

Getting rid of Orange after 10 years, is however an ongoing saga, watch this space…


I don’t see her often, but she gave us some very good advice about our gite.
There are no other Brits in the Hauts de Trivy, but we have a Monday morning ladies get together with French and Brits from the next village to improve our language skills.

A priest got stabbed (I am not sure if he died) in Trivy many years ago. There is some kind of pilgrimage to Trivy every year. Do they still do that ?

My OH (French) has inherited her family house about 5 mins away from there. Well next village. I have been going every summer for the last twenty years.

Very nice area. I ride my bike bike up to Suin every year…not many people can do that !!! lol

I don’t think there is anything you can do. I have just checked the adsl map of France and Montmelard does not have internet access…well less than 3 MBIT/s. In fact most isolated areas in that area don’t have it. It looks like you have to be in the main villages to get reasonable connection. Dompierre is fine. Verovres is fine. Gibles is fine. Trivy is quite weak.

To be fair even landline is a nightmare in that area in summer with all the storms. Our phone blew up a couple of years ago and took out every piece of electrical equipment near a socket.

If you have 3g you could tether a laptop to your phone. But last time I was in Verovres there was none. You basically had to sit in the garden to get a page to download. Internet working from rural Bourgogne is not an option.

You could try satellite.

Mark, do you mean Taize. It was Brother Roger.
We are a very small commune with only 240 people.
Suin and Sivignon are are our neighbouring communes.
I am sure that the Madonna is very impressed that you pay an annual pilgrimage by bike!

Yes it was Taize. I remember now.

Just out of interest, do you know the British couple (I assume they are a couple ??) who own a house in Lavau ?

The only reason I ask is because the house many decades ago belonged to a relative of my OH before it got renovated. It has a very nice view over the countryside.

Also, have they finished the RCEA around Verovres yet ?