When we moved to Carcassonne in 2016 the plan was that all of the city would be wired with fiber optic cable within 2 years and that even the surrounding communities would be covered by the end of this year. Then the devastating floods arrived one night in October, 2018 taking with them lives, portions of villages, and lots of infrastructure including telephone lines. Personnel who had been involved in completing that original coverage plan within the city were understandably redirected to the outlying areas to reconnect those who were now isolated because of washed out bridges, rail lines, and any means of communication. Happily, last month we received an email from our Internet provider that our home was now eligible for fiber and we could schedule an appointment by clicking on the provided link, which we did almost as soon as we opened their message. Next we had to figure out how to cope with the installation in the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown. After a delay of 16 months we were determined to make this work.
Fortunately, the service provider that we use had already put online their recommendations for following the government guidelines related to the health crisis:
- Aerate your house an hour before the appointment.
- Only one household member, wearing a surgical mask, should greet the technician.
- You should always stand at least 1 meter (3 feet) from the technician.
- The technician would need access to a sink for handwashing before leaving.
To supplement those precautions:
- We removed all loose objects from any sort of table top so that we could easily disinfect all flat surfaces once the technician was gone.
- After the appointment, Bill sterilized his mask with boiling water and immediately washed his clothes.
- I stayed elsewhere in the house with all doors closed between that room and the front door.
Our appointment start time was for between 8:00 and 10:00 AM with an expected duration of 2 to 4 hours. The team of 2 arrived at 8:20 and were gone two hours later. Our wireless Internet speed with our prior ADSL line was consistently at 18 Mbit/s and now with fibre the speed test meter approaches 500 Mbit/s. Bring on those 4K movies!
The charge for this new service is 50 euros a month that also includes 100 TV channels plus unlimited calls to anywhere in the world that we are ever likely to telephone. Ironically, on the day that we received that eligibility email for this super fast fiber, streaming services such as Netflix (using 25 percent of the bandwidth in Europe) and Amazon Prime announced that they would be slowing their speeds to ensure Internet access to everyone who was now working at home. Oh well, until we decide upon a subscription there are several pay-TV channels that are temporarily free to enjoy movies, concerts, and shows of all descriptions. We definitely won’t be bored staying at home.
Fiber coverage map for France: https://reseaux.orange.fr/cartes-de-couverture/fibre-optique
Compare fiber offers in France: https://www.ariase.com/box/offres/fibre-optique