Internet in France

Information on the many companies offering Internet access in France with details on the services available and contact information for the service provider...

If you are moving to France, one of the first things you will likely need to do is get a mobile phone and an Internet connection. There are 2 main options for Internet access in France - ADSL and fiber-optic - and the availability of the services will depend on where you live in France. Prices for both types of access are pretty similar, but fibre optic will be much faster. All Internet providers in France can offer bundle packages for your telephone, Internet access, mobile phone and television. It is advisable to shop around for the best deal and compare the offers based on your needs and the size of your household.

In order to set up an Internet or mobile phone subscription you will need to provide

  • Contact information and your address (proof may be required)
  • Bank account details for direct debit - you will need a French bank account before you can sign up for Internet and mobile contracts

Credit or debit card details may be required as a deposit on any rental equipment

In some areas of rural France, a sufficient mobile phone coverage and broadband is still not available. These inaccessible places are called zones blanches, although the government aims to provide coverage to all these zones by 2022. High-speed connection in these areas can be achieved by satellite or WiFI.

To find out what coverage is available in your area for both mobile and Internet, type your address into this interactive map.

Getting Connected: Internet in France

Internet packages include access to both telephone and television services as well as high-speed Internet. There are around 200 TV channels available, and with the Box equipment you can also subscribe to other fee-paying channels. Although most programmes are dubbed on French TV, you can select to watch in the original language, and choose whether to have subtitles or not, allowing you to watch television in English when available. There are a few news channels in English, Spanish, Arabic or other languages, but for a wider choice, you may need to pay a fee for additional channels. 

See our page on Television in France for information about digital and satellite TV and the channels available.

Internet telephone services in France usually include unlimited calls within France, and some even include unlimited calls abroad to certain countries, including mobiles. 

Dégroupage (unbundling)

The type of Internet access available to you in France will depend on whether you are in a Zone Dégroupée or Zone Non-Dégroupée. Dégroupage means a total or partial separation of the Internet line from the fixed telephone supply (with Orange, formerly France Telecom). It is not available in all areas. Those living in non-dégroupées or dégroupage partiel zones must also first set up telephone service with Orange (see the section on How to set up a landline with Orange). Once connected, you can then choose an internet provider available in the area, although packages may not be as competitive.

WiFi in France

Free wifi connection is available in many airports, coffee shops, cafes, tourist offices and restaurants. There are also hotspots in the French capital, Paris, and other large towns and cities. Some towns, such as Lyon, Bordeaux and Montpellier, as well as many ski resorts have a fee paying service called HIPPOCKETWIFI. You can hire a small device from the tourist office to use the service.

Internet Service Providers in France

There are many companies providing packages for Internet in France, with the main ones being Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR and Free
Other providers include

Cancelling an Internet Contract

Internet customers with rental equipment will need to return this to the provider, either at a local store or by post. To end the contract, some operators allow you to do this by phone, others require a registered letter (often downloadable from their website). There is often a fee to be paid to cancel the contract (frais de résiliation). These can be around 50 euros, but if you are into the 13th month of your contract, these fees are reduced to a quarter of the original amount. If you have a legitimate reason to cancel, such as leaving the country, then you may not have to pay the cancellation fees, as long as you can provide proof.