Once you have settled in Spain, telecommunications should be one of your priorities, whether for your research or to keep in touch with your friends and relatives abroad. The country has a modern and developed telecommunications network, allowing you to make quality phone calls and access the internet anywhere in the country, whether you are a temporary or permanent resident in Spain.
You can start by checking out various services offered by different service providers, either by visiting their website or by stopping by one of their branches. You may also get some insights on the Spain forum.
Types of connection available in Spain
Spanish internet service providers offer various connection types, namely ADSL, WIMAX, optical fibre and 4G. The most popular, of course, are ADSL and Wi-fi, which provide a broadband connection allowing you to surf the web at high speed. Optical fibre has become widely available, however it is still developing in the country, and it may not be available in rural areas. ADSL is still popular in small cities, residential areas and even in the countryside. However, the connection speed remains quite low compared to current telecommunication offers.
Some internet service providers even offer cable TV for additional fees, as well as special packages with unlimited calls to local landlines.
You can also choose between three types of access: billing according to the number of hours of use, an unlimited connection monthly subscription or a combination of both. You can enquire about related conditions with your operator.
If your home has had an Internet connection in the past, new installation is not usually required. You can simply ask to reactivate the service. Otherwise, a new installation can take up to a fortnight. Documents to be produced on subscription are:
- your identity card or passport
- NIE or proof of residence
- some providers may require a Spanish bank account
Broadband subscriptions are generally regulated by a minimum one-year contract (permanencia). Hence, you are likely to pay penalty fees if you choose to terminate the contract before it expires. Note that applications cannot be made from abroad. You must be on the spot to fill in all related formalities.
Once subscribed, you should receive the router or a technician will be sent for installation, within one week.
Good to know:
Subscription and installation fees are required to be paid during registration. But you may be entitled to discounts during promotional periods. Some suppliers offer promotional prices for the first six months or waive installation fees.
Internet cafes in Spain
If you do not have access to a computer you can opt for internet cafes which can be found in almost all major Spanish cities. You will also find shops and call centres known as 'locutorios' offering internet connection facilities. Rates usually start from one euro per hour.
Good to know:
If you hold a NIE, you can register for free at the local library where you can use computers and access the internet.
If you have a smart phone or a laptop, you can also access Wi-Fi in numerous public places such as coffee shops, bars, train stations, airports, shopping centres, hotspots in city centres, municipalities, etc.. The Wi-fi Finder app may help you find nearby spots with your smartphone. Access can be free of charge or paid. Some accommodations also offer free Wi-Fi.