Télévision Numérique Terrestre is the national digital terrestrial service for France. France uses the DVB-T transmission technology (as does the rest of Europe).
There is a mandatory tax for a TV license (la redevance audiovisuelle) in France which costs €125 annually. Only one TV licence is payable per household, irrespective of the number of televisions in a property, or the number of properties owned by the same household. The licence funds services provided by Radio France and France Télévisions. To keep the cost of collection low, the licence fee in France is collected as part of local taxes. If you do not pay the tax d'habitation, go to your local government office and complete Form 3310A (for business use).
Several channels can be watched for free with a TV antenna (TF1, France 2, France 3, France 5, and M6), but some people purchase cable or satellite service for larger selection.
TV subscription services are normally bundled with a phone line and broadband internet. Digital television (using multiple brands)is usually provided through set top boxes. Cable TV is primarily only in French and has been slow to grow. Not all areas have access to cable.
Installation is usually arranged online through the provider's website or by telephone. A request for service is placed, a technician will come to your home, and installation should be completed within a week. If there is equipment in place, it may just take changing the name on the contract and setting-up payments.
TV subscription services are normally bundled with a phone line and broadband internet. Satellite TV (télévision par satellite) offers the best English language options. This system utilizes different sizes of satellite dishes with larger dishes sometimes providing international channels (some tvs in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region can access channels without a satellite system). Average dish size is around 65cm dish. BBC channels can be received unencrypted (CNN, Euro News, Sky News can be accessed as well). The BBC provides information on this option.
Installation is usually arranged online through the provider's website or by telephone after confirming permission from your landlord or the local authorities. A request for service is placed, a technician will come to your home, and installation should be completed within a week. Installation fees may be waived during promotions, but may also cost up to €150. If there is equipment in place, it may just take changing the name on the contract and setting-up payments.Providers
The main provider is CanalSat. The box and dish must be purchased, plus a monthly subscription fee.
Internet service is usually bundled with either cable or satellite TV service and a phone line. Connectivity is generally high within France with a variety of connections available at different price points. In metropolitan France, intense competition allows for competitive prices of about €30 per month for ADSL up to 28 Mbit/s.
Read contracts carefully to understand all the clauses. If the contract is in a language you are not comfortable in, bring a friend or someone that can translate. Also note that some companies make it very difficult to cancel; they may require two or three months's written notice.
Contact your preferred provider and they can usually set-up an appointment over the phone or online. Installation may be necessary if the wiring and equipment is not already installed. A change in service may take up to six weeks before it is working.
Internet cafes can be located throughout Paris. Access is usually €3 per hour. Printing, scanning, CD-Rom burning, and other services are usually an additional fee. Cafes may also be a target for thieves and pickpockets - take care of your belongings.
Tel: 01 40 06 00 70
Chain of cyber cafés
Cyber Cube Internet Cafés
Address: 12, rue Daval, 75011 Paris
Tel: (01) 49 29 67 67
Open: 10 - 22 daily
Address: 31 Blvd Sebastopol, lst
Tel: 01 40 13 06 51
Open: 24 hours
Address: 53 Rue de la Harpe, 5th
Tel: 01 44 07 38 89
Open 24 hours
Address: 5 Rue d'Odessa, 14th
Tel: 01 43 20 10 37
Open: 10 - 22 daily
Simple access is also provided at hotels and youth hostels with a “pay as you go” terminal in the lobby that can be used with a credit card or coins. More internet cafes can be found at Paris Directory.
Multiple cafes, shops and wi-fi (pronounced wee-fee) hotspots exist throughout Paris. Even the public parks (for 2 hour sessions), libraries, town halls, and museums have access. Service is available only during regular operating hours, somewhere between 7 am and 11 pm, shorter for municipal buildings, longer for parks although gardens owned by the city of Paris also have closing hours. Find access points throughout the city on the Paris site.
Look for the "wi-fi" symbols at cafes and shops for access, but acknowledge that it is expected that you buy something to use the wifi. Unusual to other countries with Starbucks, you must pay to access Wifi at their locations. Note that the Internet service provider Free doesn't mean gratuit (free). It is simply the name of the network (meaning Freedom) and is for their paying clients with passcodes.
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