Spain Internet: ADSL, Cable and Wireless
Posted by The Expatriator
Information on Internet services in Spain, for expatriates living in Spain. Free Internet via dialup, ADSL and Cable modem services through various providers like Telefonica, Auna, ONO, ya.com and Wanadoo. Further information about wireless (wifi) Internet, and wardriving in Spain.
Spain’s Internet usage has climbed dramatically in recent years. As of January 2007, Spain had over 19,204,000 Internet users, almost 43% of the population (source). As for broadband (cable and ADSL Internet), this is still somewhat lower than the overall EU market average penetration (50.9%) and the price to performance ratio is lower too, making the Internet relatively expensive in these terms. Of course this is most likely due to the near monopoly Telefonica still maintains over Spain’s telephone lines, making it difficult for competitors to enter the market and difficult for you to even get your ADSL line at all, since you’ll have to rely on them to install a fixed telephone line service before your ADSL will work. This is changing however, but more on that later.
Dial-up Internet in Spain
The internet is free in Spain—at least until you get your phone bill. Local calls are not free (around ,06 €/minute with Telefónica or ,01 €/minute with Tele2). An alternative is to sign up for Tarifa plana. That means you pay a flat rate to the ISP rather than paying for the local calls. The rates depend on whether you include peak time or not (peak time in Spain is M-F 8AM - 6PM). The rates don’t seem to vary much from company to company. Ya.com and Wanadoo offer various rates depending on how many hours of peak time you plan to use. For example, Ya.com offers a 24-hour-a-day service for 20 €/month. Don’t use EresMas: bad service has been reported. When one person tried to cancel the service, he was told to send it by e-mail. He did so, and got a reply two days later: “this person is on vacation”. Also, I would recommend against Terra, Telefónica’s mutant offspring. They’ll often modify the mail server settings or down the server without warning. Also, their helpline is not toll-free!—a drag when you’re put on hold for half an hour. For more info, see the CostaBlancaExpats article on Choosing and connecting to a Spanish ISP.
Also regarding free Internet in Spain, several people, myself included, have cancelled their broadband (read: ADSL or Cable Internet) services with a company (in our case it was Auna) only to have been taken off of billing and forgotten about. They left their equipment, modem, router, etc, at the residence still connected, seemingly having forgotten to pick it up or disable the modem from their networks. Sometimes the craziness of Spanish beaurocracy pays off…
Cable Modem Internet Service in Spain
Cable Internet service is a good alternative to ADSL internet , but not all areas are covered. Try Auna or ONO. Sample fees for Auna: 35€/month, plus 120€ installation, if there are no special offers. Keep your eyes open for these special offers on billboards around town.