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Getting connected in France for the first time

How do I get connected to phone and broadband if there has not previously been any in our property

27 February 2019

The first thing your telecom firm will do is search for any history of a previous line and they will ask for the previous owner’s name.

If there has been an active line within the last year, the line can be easily activated remotely.

Getting a live service is quick if you are eligible for dégroupage total (where calls go over the broadband service, with the phone plugged into the modem).

If there was a line disconnected more than a year previously, it will require an engineer to visit and if it previously had dégroupage partiel (where the telephone line carries the voice calls and the broadband runs separately to it) that cannot be reinstated.

The only way to access dégroupage partiel is if you are able to take over the previous owner’s service without a break. If a line has never been installed, the service you can have will depend on the closeness to the exchange.

The traditional service for properties with dégroupage partiel has been withdrawn and replaced by services such as SFR’s and Orange’s 4G connection over the local mobile service. The number of properties with this slower service is falling due to investment in the national telephone network.

Where the network service is sufficiently fast, dégroupage total will be installed. If you live in an urban area, you may also be able to opt for fibre broadband, including optional access to TV channels including pay-per-view.

Try to search for your preferred supplier before you complete purchase so you can make arrangements to take over the line and broadband before the seller cancels them.

It will cost nothing to find out what services are available and you do not have to use the same firm as the current owner to be able to take over the service.


Question answered by Bob Elliott from the telephone and broadband provider, UK Telecom. See for more information on their services in France. 

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