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I know the situation re internet etc changes rapidly and is

dependent on local circumstances, but I thought I'd post this question, anyway,

and would be really glad for any responses, even if they point us to another

source of info!

My (French) partner and I are moving permanently to France

this summer - to 86 Chauvigny or, rather, a village about a mile from Chauvigny.

At the moment, there is no telephone or anything in the house and no one

(including helpful neighbours) seems to be able to tell us what the previous

occupant's telephone number was, so we're starting with a blank sheet. Have any

of you recommendations for best options for:

Fixed line telephone

Reliable broadband

Mobile telephone contract (we each have UK mobiles,

in good condition, and wonder whether we could take those with us and

'unlock'(?) them?) ?

We would like the possibility of:


international calls - especially in Europe and to fixed lines;

Watching BBC

television (although this is not essential)

We're deeply ignorant - here in

England as much as in France - about what goes with what and what possibilities

there are, so forgive me if the question isn't well formulated!

With thanks

and best wishes

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Well perhaps the first thing to establish is whether your house is in a "de-groupe" area. In other words are other operators apart from Orange able to offer a service for telephone and Internet. If your property is in the sticks then it may not be which means that you are stuck with Orange for a fixed line and Internet. They do offer a package for unlimited calls to fixed numbers in France and Europe/USA/Canada combines with broadband for around €39 per month - you wont get any prices like the UK from any French operator.

As regards mobiles, e.leclerc offer a sim card only system for €1,50 per month plus calls if you rarely use your mobile.

I am sure other people on the forum will offer their pennies worth !

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If you happen to be in a 'dégroupé' area, Free.fr do an offer with Internet, Phone (free fixed lines  to 60 countries including the UK) and TV for 29.99€

They have also introduced a mobile phone service for those with their Internet offer which costs 15.99€ for unlimited calls and SMS in France  and free calls to fixed lines in many places including the UK.

It has its detractors, and you should have a look at the extensive thread on Free.

I am happy with it.

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Difficult to go into too much detail. Most of this is covered throughout the stickies in this forum.

go to http://www.ariase.com/demenagement/test-adresse.html and put in the exact or approximate address. if you put in a general address e.g 86300 Chauvigny it will give a map of the speeds to be expected. at different distances from the town.

It will list the connection point/s for your potential line ( bournes = dslams) and the services available. Click on the detailed info for each dslam to see which villages or lines it serves. Bear in mind that rural france is big, so sometimes speeds are sometimes not great.

IF you are in a degrouped area you can choose to maintain a fixed analogue phone (separate line rental) and have broadband (with a 2nd internet phone), or you can dispense with the analogue phone and have a internet only phone.

Remember that in addition that you can also port your UK phone number to a VOIP supplier (before you leave the UK) such as sipgate.co.uk or draytel.org and have your UK phone working in france just as if it were in the UK !!

Most broadband operators offer packages of unlimited fixed line (french and international calls) and most include calls to mobiles for around €35-40/month.

Which you choose depends what services you want. The free.fr broadband box is probably the most advanced, includes blue ray player, NAS storage, and heaps of other features, but all now include TV over broadband if that is what you want for a small addition. Main suppliers are orange.fr , free.fr / alice.fr , neuf.fr, sfr.fr bouyges.fr , dartybox.fr

Go for a supplier that is offereing ADSL2+ at your particular dslam to get the maximum speed.

If you can get your phones unlocked (get it done before you come so you can sign up immediately) there are plenty of mobile deals for unlimited everything (including calls to international fixed lines) for around the €20 / month, all on easily changeable rolling month contract. (e.g free.fr, b-any-you.fr, sfr.fr, neuf.fr).

For BBC TV - bring yourself a freesat box over from the UK (no subscription needed), or if you want sky channels, bring over a fully paid up (not subsidised) skybox, and keep your uk bank account open for the subscriptions.

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