Satellite Internet, Phone, TV


I have browsed the previous threads on the topic, but would appreciate some up-to-date advice.

Currently we are still living on a campsite in our Hymer Motorhome where free internet is available.

We have a Motorhome Wifi iBoost to access the site wifi & an Avtex Snipe Pro-Max Satellite on the roof that gives us excellent Freesat UK tv channels provided there's not too much rain! We also use Skype phone & video to keep in touch with friends & family at home.

However, hopefully we move to our new home in a fairly isolated commune in the Gironde at the end of the month.

Is it possible or wise to switch to a satellite only system for internet & tv & Skype phone, given the reports of slow & unreliable service with Orange? We currently use quite a lot of data-downloading The Times, browsing & using internet radio.

Trying to do some forward planning ready for our first house occupancy since August 2014. Of course we can still live in Hettie the Hymer for a time.




I thought an update might be interesting.

We now have our TV Dish & Satellite Dish expertly mounted by a professional & HD UK TV is excellent via our Humax Freesat box.

Internet access has been a tale of woe. We have an SES system using Europasat that has been consistently useless. Poor performance in that it has often been impossible to use the internet-pages not loading & inability to open emails. The latter being very frustrating since we have a Tesco 'free' Eurotunnel return booked at the end of the month & I needed to open the booking confirmation at the weekend & could not!

Satellite internet to date has been consistently worse than our original Orange Livebox internet that we ended when we had the satellite internet-we switched to an Orange ligne fixe that has been fine after initial hiccups.

According to Europasat technical in 33 we are in a busy segment & they can switch us to a less congested, newer segment/section of the network 'which is typically improving better'.

This seems worth a try & I'm thinking perhaps it's time to use Orange internet again because Skype calls & video were fine & there were no data costs over the land line.

Thought this might be of interest & any other suggestions would be welcome.

Found the old discussion about lightning fast internet (was it?) on here fascinating. As a PS we had fibre-optic broadband in UK & France Broadband has been a culture shock. However, the sunshine & swimming in the pool with my gammy leg have more than compensated!!!

All the best,


Here's an update.

Our new Orange Live box Zen internet & internet phone system is up & running.

Did an Ookla Speedtest & got 1.94 download & 0.8 upload. Perhaps predictably this is far below the Orange line speed their agent quoted. We have a sub to The Times & downloads are slow. However, we can stream UK radio through the BBC RadioPlayer app. If Skype proves poor, satellite internet will be the way to go with the benefit of iPlayer if we go for a UK system.

Couple of questions. Orange quoted €18 per month for 'PAYG' line-rental & I wonder whether there are cheaper deals? We also need to get the TV satellite dish sorted-it's tree-mounted (!), looks quite ugly & if there's a strong wind we get a wobbly picture! Can anyone recommend a good fitter in our area-33540 a short distance from Sauveterre de Guyenne?



Hi Helen,

I spoke to Orange's English helpline & the agent did a line test-14-18mps. I've agree to test a Zen summat-or-other & have their line-rental for €18 per month on the understanding I can cancel within 3 weeks.

If it's OK I'll keep it otherwise keep the line rental tho' it does seem expensive...?

We shall see-keys tonight!


Peter, this seems to be an internet streaming package rather than satellite broadband?


Check this out. There are several suppliers of MAG250 IPTV boxes with subscription packages

Hello Roger
We live in an isolated commune with shocking cell phone signal in the Dordogne just next to the Gironde border, and we are nearly 8km from our exchange.
We have recently put in a satellite internet connection which we installed ourselves. There are many companies available on the internet who provide the service with different packages available we opted for vivéole as they had a package suitable for our requirements.(we have 3 children who like to download....a lot, and we run a business from home)
We stuck with orange for the landline as we did not want to be without telephone in the event of a powercut, and they are the only company who have any decent cellphone signal here so we have a Sosh account for all our cellphones. At the moment orange offer a landline and a wifi internet deal for I think 44.90 which may be before vat. Orange do have an English speaking advice line which is usually pretty good if you are not confident with French.
Kind regards

sorry for the delay, I use SES

John Big Dish installed our freesat dish but we chose to stick with orange for phone and net. Haven’t had a problem with either. Our orange speed is 4mbps plus, not UK cable speed but streaming and Skype work fine. We are only around 3km from John, he’s very helpful and did a great install.


Check with this link, and the address of the place you are moving to, to have a pretty decent idea of what kind of bandwidth you can expect to obtain

Yes,thanks Tish-see my reply yesterday,


Hi Roger,

Have you contacted John at Big Dish Satellite?

"Big Dish Satellite supplies and installs satellite broadband systems and satellite television. We are based in the Limousin but send equipment and kits all over France via our mail order business. Locally, we carry out installations and we collaborate with fellow installers who cover the areas that we don’t reach. Large stocks of both Tooway and Astra Connect broadband systems are kept here for either collection or dispatch."

I've got Orange and it works fine for me thankfully.

Did a line test & we're I think 2000M from the exchange BUT we are heavy internet users even in the Hymer. Download The Times every day, use internet radio for Radio 2 etc, & live football commentaries in season + Skype calls & video. Have a 20 gig deal with 3 that we've exceeded several time to our cost so that's going as soon as we get a definite key-date!

Like the Crémanteorium!

It will be SO good to have a proper bed, bathroom facilities & SWMBO is looking forward to dishwasher & washing machine once I've found someone to install it!

We get around 1.75. We are at the end of the wires, about 2km from the exchange. I have never managed to trace the line all the way, so the actual length is probably longer than that. It is OK for Internet, but no good for streaming video. A neighbor complained to Telecom and got a noticeable improvement when they replaced a length of dodgy wire.

Take it easy with the Crémante, we don't want you to end up in the Crémanteorium!


Here is an update.

I have discovered that the landline at our new house has a 1mbps speed so probably not OK for what we want. Had a very useful chat with John Sidwell of BigDishSat who retail Tooway & AstraConnect satellite systems. He has an installer local to Gironde & this will be our choice & we will continue with the landline as backup. The mobile signal is pretty poor as well.

Off topic but something positive after the tech complications is the fact that the vines at the back of our new house are used to make Crémante that we look forward to sampling.


Hi Roger, Looking at a map Aquitaine is a large region which stretches down to the Spanish border but I guess you're fairly far north within that region.I'm 150 Km north of Toulouse and 70 cm works but I use an 80cm dish which I previously used for the previous generation of SES sat internet, which appears to be exactly what broadband everywhere is offering ! (now effectively obsolete) With that dish it was impossible to receive internet and 28.2E at the same time in my location.The TV lnb has to be mounted on a bracket 4.7 degrees offset from the internet lnb (28.2 -23.5) and this has the effect of considerably reducing the gain of the system.

Naturally there are no problems with sat internet anywhere in Europe it's the problematic sat TV reception from Astra 28.2 I was referring to ..

Hi Michael, it was a general reply really.

I was making the point that in Aquitaine where we are there is perfect reception of UK TV with the Snipe technology-TV only. They claim that reception is good as far south as Toulouse tho' I haven't tested that yet. Their reference to restrictions refers to the reduced UK TV footprint not to UK TV via internet.

Otherwise, my understanding is with a £300 75cm dish the 'footprint' covers all France & certainly the Gironde where we will be living soon hopefully.

They do make great claims for reducing latency with calls & rain affecting the signal, but that remains to be seen.

I need to compare costs with the French providers also.

I am really glad that there seems a viable alternative should there only be slow internet through the fixed line.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions,


Hi Roger,

I'm not sure if you were replying to me but, not having a motorhome myself I checked out the Snipe dish and the broadband everywhere link. You say that you get perfect freesat reception with the snipe but not which part of France you're referring to.....It's a fact that the signal strength from Astra 28,2 E varies considerably throughout France and drops off rapidly as you approach the med coast, Pyrenees, and southern part of the Atlantic coast such that dishes as large as 1.5m are required in many of those areas.

Broadband everywhere has a system with internet + TV but they point out; quote " UK TV signals being restricted to the UK and northern France"

I agree with Mike and have surge protectors on all my electronic products including the TV and SkyBox

Worth bearing in mind that with desk tops (of old) the modem was on a separate circuit board which could be relatively easily and cheaply replaced. Your lab top is one circuit board, so blow modem and you buy and new lap top.

With my Orange Live Box, which is also protected, I connect the phone lines through the same surge protector as well.

I did post a reply but unfortunately it disappeared.

Intrigued by the comments about huge dishes required to get UK TV in Aquitaine & elsewhere. In our motorhome we use a Snipe Pro-Max that tunes & skews to get perfect UKTV using Freesat in our Avtex TV. It is a small square dish that claims to give the equivalent of a 75cm dish.

Also 'Broadband Everywhere' ( motorhome TV & Internet Dishes (twin LNB) that are fairly small though expensive-£3300+. They use the SES system with a UK ip so iPlayer etc should be OK. It looks like a good choice if our future landline is slow.