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Phones and internet in the Netherlands

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To say the Dutch are well-connected is like calling a lightning bolt a bit of a shock: the Netherlands has one of the best-connected societies in the world, with most people having high-speed internet, and 4G coverage is almost universal all over the country. There are Wi-Fi (pronounced wee-fee) hotspots in most cafes, libraries, and even supermarkets.

Arranging for a phone and internet service is a relatively straightforward procedure in the Netherlands. Most telecommunications providers have a physical location, where you can walk in and talk to a service representative. As with most such services, for your first purchase with a provider, you will need to have some form of ID (either a residence permit or a passport), proof of address, and a valid PIN card.

Phones

Phones can be purchased one of two ways: you can either buy a phone and SIM card separately or lease a phone from a provider (i.e., the phones that are advertised as being “free” with the purchase of a two-year contract).

If you choose to go via the phone-and-SIM-card route, phones can be purchased through various outlets – even Aldi (yes, the supermarket) will occasionally carry phones – so while provider stores and technology shops are a good place to start, they are by no means the only places to purchase a phone. Along these lines, prepaid or contract SIM cards can be purchased at various outlets as well, although it can be more difficult to choose an optimal internet/calling package if you elect not to use a provider.  

If you choose to lease a phone from a provider, then everything is provided for you – and, depending on the provider, you may even be able to leave the store with your new phone right away, or it may arrive in your mailbox shortly thereafter.

Internet

Most providers have an all-in-one packages, which cover a landline, mobile phone, and internet. It is also possible to order only Internet, or only a phone, but it is likely to cost you more. Internet includes television and access to streaming services, but it does not include the streaming service itself. In other words, you can have access to Netflix, but you’ll have to pay Netflix before you can use it. Cable TV channels (HBO) and some streaming services like Spotify on the other hand, are frequently bundled into internet packages, so check carefully if these things are important to you.   

Once you have made the arrangements as per which internet package you wish to buy, you will be sent a router and a television box.  While these are not very difficult to install yourself, if you require help, the provider can send a technician to assist you, though you may be required to cover the cost.  

 Useful links:

KPN
Vodafone
Telfort
T-Mobile
Tele2
Internetten – Comparison of subscription offers (only in Dutch)

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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