Second home telephone lines
For second home owners, what are the options for telecoms you can ‘switch off’ when you are not there?
There are only two companies that can provide services that can be suspended: Orange and UKTelecom. They have important differences though.
Orange has a monopoly in being able to offer both line rental and broadband that can be frequently suspended, but to qualify you have to prove that the services you wish to suspend are used at a second home, not your main residence.
The service is called ‘ligne résidence secondaire’. You need to provide a suitable insurance document or tax return to prove this is for a second home within a week of ordering, or it will be cancelled. This option is suitable for many expats living in another country with a holiday home or renting it and the main terms that apply are: a maximum period of suspension of 12 months; line rental charge when active is the same as an ordinary line at €17.96/month; each suspension costs €5.99.
The UKTelecom offer is available to all its customers and allows broadband and call packages to be suspended. Line rental cannot be suspended.
However, if you have your calls over your broadband service a much lower charge applies because there is no line rental to pay. The main terms of this option are:
For anyone with their calls carried by broadband there is a €5/month charge and for those with a broadband service separate from their calls the broadband can be suspended free of charge but the line rental will still have to be paid. The company provides a free care package for visitors and renters of holiday homes that may need assistance connecting devices to the service.
Broadband can be suspended once in any 12-month period for any period between one and four months and call packages can be suspended for a minimum of one month but there is no limit on the number of times they can be suspended. UKTelecom make no charge for suspending or reactivating these services.