Our Maire informs us that fibre optic cable is planned for our little village. We are of course very excited about that.
Our careers (Simon a software engineer and Nicola a web development project manager) do require full online connectivity. It was essential to make this move to France work for us.
We have been here almost a year and can’t believe how time has flown and how our lives and the world has changed in such a short space of time!
After several visits to Le Chassaing and the local area before we purchased and in the nine months after buying the farmhouse before moving in. We found that the mobile 4G signal was exceptionally good in pockets. Our house is central to a good signal pocket. That said we couldn’t take any chances as the internet is business critical for us.
We chatted to friends who were in UK signal black-spots and researched their experience of satellite dishes. The overall feeling was excellent download but poor upload speeds. There are a few satellite internet / broadband providers in France but we haven’t had call to use them to date.
In the UK the prices for install are under £1000 and the monthly contract varies up to £70 however you can pay for the installation as part of your contract. In France the deals were much the same but our research found that the mbps was considerably slow by comparison. We are happy to install the satellite as a back up but with news of fibre optic being available that plan is on hold until further notice.
Our initial solution and the one that works well for us is to access mobile broadband.
What did we buy?
- HUAWEI 4G router £260 via amazon
- Omnidirectional exterior aerial £80 via amazon
- From SFR in Clermont Ferrand we registered and purchased a ‘simcard only’ to provide 100Gb per month (Note you will need to provide all your documents before you purchase)
- We have gone on to buy two more 100Gb cards from RED online a division of SFR.
We need these extra cards in times of heavy usage i.e. university holidays and visits of children and family.
Our advice is to do your research, check translations and be clear on what you would like to purchase before you enter the store. We find that face to face communication is best as we are still learning French. I have heard so many bad reviews regarding SFR, this has not been our experience. Maybe because we know exactly what we are buying ensures that we don’t get sold a package that a sales person ‘thinks’ might work well for us.
What do you need to set up an account with a mobile phone company?
- French Bank Account (This requires an interview, paperwork, and patience)
- Proof of address (Recent household bill within 3 months)
- Proof of Identity (Passport)
How well does the internet work?
I can conference call or video call using various online apps from the kitchen / office and walk all the way around the property to the back garden. So I’ve concluded that it’s pretty good. The phone signal can sometimes be patchy by comparison.
We don’t watch a lot of TV. We’ve never felt the need to buy SKY TV but we do like films and we can stream films and Netflix series online easily.
We create video content for our youtube channel Notes From Le Chassaing. This requires lots of uploading of film during the editing process. We also work with designers and various web agencies in the UK we share large image and video files uploading and downloading client projects daily.
Our requirements may be different to yours. We are very happy with the service and the set up that we have for now. As the internet evolves and connectivity advances we will always be researching new solutions.
Happy to hear your plans and we’re interested to hear your solutions.
Have a fabulous weekend x