Alternatives to Orange's service which is stopping

For ten years we have been using Orange internet and home landline. As we are only in France for the summer they allowed you to turn off the landline and internet when you were not there and restore the service when you returned so we only had to pay for three months a year. Now it is stopping. Are there any alternatives?

Many of Orange’s customers were taken by surprise when it withdrew this long-standing offer without warning. A typical customer might suspend their service for six months each year and the loss of this could add a substantial amount to bills.

While French second property owners will be the majority of those affected, many thousands of British holiday home owners are also likely to be adversely affected. Many will feel that they have little choice but to accept this, including those owners that rent out their properties to others and who are likely to lose more in lost bookings than in the extra fees if they offer no broadband. However alternatives are available.

The closest comparable service for a standard 12-month contract is from UKTelecom. Customers can suspend their broadband for up to four months a year with a small monthly charge to keep the account live.

Requiring an email to suspend and reactivate the service, it is simpler than the old Orange service that required the modem to be handed in to an Orange shop and collected when required. UKTelecom also offers a free care package for renters who can call them for assistance.

If your use is very low there are even cheaper alternatives not requiring a 12-month agreement (eg. from SFR) but there are set up and cease costs.

If you are only going to need the service for a few months you may find a mobile ‘hot spot’ is the best alternative. It is not as suitable for use by renters but is very flexible and you can connect up to nine devices at any one time. It comes with a set amount of data and when it runs low you can buy additional credit online through an English-language website. Both UKTelecom and offer this.

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

If you have a query on this topic send it to