Having lived in France for over ten years and in various properties with varying degrees of access to a usable connection, I am pleased to have finally installed a decent broadband system. In one property in which we lived broadband wasn't even an option; we had two phone lines, one dedicated to 56k dial-up access.
As I work online this was a nightmare and one of the reasons we left that village. The best I've ever managed is a two meg ADSL connection, perfectly usable for browsing the internet and checking your emails etc but it's on the limit for bandwidth intensive applications such as streaming films which we do a lot.
So in addition to my standard cable based broadband connection, I have installed a satellite connection. I know that sounds extravagant but if my internet access goes down for any reason, and it has previously done so for periods of up to three weeks, I have to find somewhere else to work (usually McDonalds car parks as they have free WiFi!) which is really impractical.
Now I get an 18 meg download speed, a 26gb data allowance and a UK based IP address which means that I can now stream films in high definition from sites such as www.netflix.com, www.blinkbox.com, www.lovefilm.com and even BBC's iPlayer without out the need for additional VPN setups like Expatshield etc.
I installed the equipment myself, it's pretty straightforward if you have some basic DIY skills. You can use this service anywhere as long as you have a clear line of sight to the satellite.
Find out more here
If you have any questions about how I set this up, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them for you.