Although we bought our house here in Carcassonne a few months ago, I haven’t felt as if we really live there…until today. One of the requirements for getting a visa for our first year in France was to have an address, so we rented a fully-furnished house. It’s really comfortable and truly came with everything we needed to live, down to the knives, forks, and spoons, and the all-important Internet. The only problem is that once we venture outside of our 2-foot thick (60 cm.) walls, there is no wi-fi, so when we go over to work on the house I feel a bit out of touch…until today.
As you can probably guess, we got the Internet at our house today. It’s not as if we currently have lots of time to use it over there, since most of the day we’re either stripping off old paint or applying new, but just knowing that we can now quickly look up something online without using our slower mobile phone connection makes me happy. The price makes me even happier. For the first year for 17.99 euro/dollars per month we get high-speed Internet, over 200 television channels, plus unlimited landline phone calls to North America and Europe. In Atlanta we were paying 10 times that amount per month to get 100 additional TV channels that we never watched and still had to pay for phone calls if we went over our limit. Here, after 12 months the price will increase by 20 euro per month but there’s no contract to sign to commit you to that and by then Carcassonne will be well on its way to having fibre installed all over the city, so connection speeds will increase dramatically to make an extra cost worth it.
How easy was this to do? Bill completed the entire process in a few minutes online. Sure, the websites of the providers are in French but for us, that’s much easier to deal with than trying to talk with someone on the phone, especially when you need to investigate the various offers and the technical words are all truly foreign. To compare the packages offered by all the different companies we used the website http://www.ariase.com/fr/comparatifs/fibre-optique.html where you can also check the speed of your connection and compare it to other addresses. The company we chose said that it could take 2 weeks for the cable box to arrive and a further 3 weeks to get connected. After we placed our online order the box arrived the next day and within 2 hours of plugging in the cable to that keyhole plug you see in the photo above, we had Internet. How’s that for service?
What are we going to be watching? To be honest, we would have been happy with the 26 channels we already get off-the-air via the antenna on the roof. After all, anyone in France with a television set pays the annual audio/visual tax of about 125 euro to gain access to these high definition channels. Via cable we will now get these plus lots of others from Europe and Africa and even one or two in English but our remote button will be stuck on the French channels. With the closed captions turned on we can see them talk, hear them talk, and read what they’ve just said, all in French. Not a bad way to learn a language.