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Internet access in the country

I want to live in the country. How do I avoid buying in an internet ‘black hole’? I.L.

Most people look for a minimum broadband speed of 2Mbps. In addition to this being a relatively good speed for a rural area it is fast enough for all your calls to be carried over your internet service, giving you the option of applying for dégroupage total. This removes the need for you to have to pay a monthly line rental. Use this as your preferred minimum broadband speed.

The easiest way to exclude areas where the service is poor is to use the website observatoire.francethd.fr and insert the postcode of villages you are considering. The colour-coded map will enable you to exclude areas that will not meet your needs.

Once you have identified suitable properties you can test the speed for each by inserting the telephone number at degrouptest.com. You will be given the maximum speed available (at peak times the speed will be slower). If there is no telephone installed at the property try to find one in a nearby house or shop and test that. As long as it is close you will get a fair indication, but no guarantee, of the likely speed.

If you have fallen in love with a property with a slow or no service, bear in mind that rural exchanges have old equipment in them that is not economical to repair. The national network is halfway through a major investment program and telecom companies have notice of when upgrades are planned so consult with suppliers to see if investment in the local exchange is imminent.

You will want to know what the mobile internet reception is like in your chosen locality, which you can do at tinyurl.com/coverage-map-Fr. Put in the location then 3G or 4G and then each of the providers you are interested in. The colour-coded map will give you an easy to understand indication of each company’s coverage.

This will be particularly important if you have a dégroupage total service as should your broadband service fail you will also lose your call service.

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

If you have a query on this topic send it to news@connexionfrance.com

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