Sompt - Internet Access in France

Which ISP? (Internet Service Provider)

This really depends on who you speak to. Basically everyone has a good and bad story to tell about any company so if you are given a personal recommendation and it suits your requirements and budget then I would recommend you go for it.

One of the most obvious choices would be France Telecom, and when you sign up for your telephone they will probably ask whether you want internet access. I have nothing against France Telecom (Wanadoo) but just make sure that if you do decide to sign up with them that you leave the shop with the correct internet package that suits your requirements.

What type of contracts are available?

Internet access comes in many different flavors and includes :

Accès libre (Free Access)

This package is really for a user who only checks their e-mail once a week, and logs off as soon as the mail is downloaded. If you want to use the web for internet browsing then I would recommend you look for a better option so that you are not looking at the clock all the time you are reading websites. Can be a very good option for the holiday home owner though, to allow you to keep in touch with friends and family during your stay.

Forfait (Fixed price)

This package allows you to relax a little while surfing, but I would find myself still keeping an eye on the clock and it means you have to keep a note of the number of hours you are logged on each month to ensure you don't exceed your limit.

Accès sans limite (Unlimited Access)

This is probably the best option if you want the freedom to be able to surf the net at any time of the day, 7 days a week - although do check that the account is not limited to day time, or week days only. Currently, the only two companies I know about that offer this type of access is 9Online and Tiscali with the price between 20€ and 25€ a month.


If you live in the country and are unable to get an ADSL line then another option is RNIS (ISDN in English) which gives you a 128k connection speed. The France Telecom name for this service is ITOO for domestic customers and Numero Duo for commercial users.

Haut Débit (High Flow) / ADSL Illimité (No limit ADSL)

If you want a faster connection then ISDN or ADSL is your answer. However, it's availability will depend on the location of your house. You can check this out by choosing the Haut Débit/ADSL Illimité option from either the 9Online or Tiscali websites. At the time of writing this article, prices ranged from 19€ a month, although this was at a reduced connection speed.

Any questions?

I hope this information is of use, and answers any questions that you have to allow you to pick the type of internet access you want and need. If not, then please drop me a e-mail and I will happy to help.