THERE are still many corners of rural France that do not enjoy broadband internet speeds, with people either using dial up access or giving up on the web altogether.
But with more and more services, and cost savings, available via the internet, those people stuck in the broadband shadows are losing out.
That is why satellite broadband appeals as it offers quick access to the web via a dish on the roof and is accessible across France.
But with mention of magabytes, data packets and latency rates, the options can be a little mind blowing but a recent Ask Jack column on the Guardian website may help out.
Experienced technology journalist, Jack Schofield, replies to a question from a reader about installing satellite broadband in Wales.
And whilst some of the information is specific to the Welsh countryside, he talks about setting up a simple spreadsheet to help you compare all the options available on the market.
The functions you should consider include upload and download speeds, the monthly data allowance, whether the service supports VoIP for making phone calls (possibly with a UK phone number), whether you get a British IP (internet protocol) address, and whether you can get any TV channels from the same dish. In my case, the IP address came from the Astra server in Luxembourg, so I wouldn't have had direct access to the BBCs iPlayer service, if it had existed at the time.
Two of the leading suppliers in France are Tooway Direct and NordNet.com, it is also worth chatting to your local Mairie as some départements are able to offer financial support for installation.
Also any good supplier should be able to provide you with an example of the service so that you can decide on the suitability of the different options.
And please feel free to use the comment form below if you can pass on any tips.
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We are in one of those areas that doesn't have ADSL via the phone lines. Our commune got together with others and had a company called Meshnet install a system of aerials and relays around the countryside that beam broadband to an individual aerial on the house. So far it has been pretty effective and when there have been problems (electrical storms etc) the company has fixed it in good time. I believe the commune had financial help with paying for the network of aerials.
Posted by: Richard | 30 May 2012 at 11:18
We live right out in the country, and will never get an ADSL standard via our phone line. Therefore we have satellite internet. There is no comparison between the two services currently. We used Nordnet for 18 months and the service was expensive, and the speeds unsatisfactory. In contrast Tooway Direct provide a good value service, and acceptable speeds. We have ADSL standard download (just under 4 mega) and upload speeds. We get a satellite phone service as well. For those living in the Toulouse area I would recommend Paul Stevens as an installer of Tooway: email@example.com
Posted by: Peter Elliott | 31 May 2012 at 09:19
Thanks for the messages, I think you highlight that there are alternatives if people are willing to track them down.
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 01 June 2012 at 11:22
Can someone be specific within the Lot please and suggest which communes have been supportive in helping us find financial help AND in offering a list of all potential companies offering ADSL links via the internet. Some UK companies seem to be operating here. Many thanks.
Posted by: Richard Bill | 16 June 2012 at 16:45
Hi Richard, ADSL is the internet access you receive over the telephone line, I'm not sure if you can receive this. Communes have been working together to establish 3G mobile access, or so-called WiMax that is a more powerful version of wifi. Your local mairie might be the best place to ask at first, but also your prefecture. The satellite broadband mentioned in the article is a different type of access altogether, sometimes there is support but usually it is an individual decision to install it.
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 16 June 2012 at 19:24
i live in the cruese on the border with the allier, we tried wifi max but the signal was very unreliable which was unfortunate as the it was unlimited for €26.00 a month are only prospect is satellite but as they all use tooway there isnt much competition on price and very limited with the so call fair use policy and nearly double the price, if you have to buy the equipment that and the connection fee can be over €400.00 some provide the kit on a rental basis providing you go for the higher 10 mb servise.
would like to hear from any one in my area who can advise on which supplier to use?
Posted by: mike rogers | 29 June 2012 at 15:54