Forced to upgrade internet contract

I am moving house and have asked Orange to transfer my ADSL internet contract to the new address. It has refused saying it will only offer its fibre forfait, which costs nothing extra for the first year but an extra €5 a month after that. I do not need the faster downloads that they promise and am happy with ADSL. How can they get away with this forced ‘upgrade’? S.R.

Although this sounds like a vente forcée, which would be forbidden, it is part and parcel of the modernisation of the telecoms network and is covered by law.

Fibre cabling will replace ADSL wherever possible as ADSL uses the old copper cable network (called RTC) which is being taken out of use in coming years.

Orange, like the other major telecoms operators, is pushing customers to change to fibre as it is more reliable than copper and can serve more customers in a given area and at higher speeds.

The company is under no obligation to continue to offer the ADSL service in areas where it had previously done so.

However, if it is not able to offer you the service you want then you have grounds to cancel your contract and look to one of its competitors for ADSL.

Telecoms companies are sharing the fibre network once it has been installed in apartment blocks and most of them are expected to reduce the number of ADSL packages to ‘encourage’ people to change to fibre.

Question answered by Sarah Bright-Thomas of Bright Avocats

Tel: 05 61 57 90 86 -

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