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Spain - Internet

There are a number of options for obtaining internet access when you are living in Spain. Dial-up is still available to users who do not want to use the internet very much and it is the least expensive option but it is also the most limiting option as you cannot use the telephone while you are connected. Most providers have a range of plans for dial-up users such as billing by the minute, with a variable rate depending upon which time of day you use the service, a flat rate each month or a flat basic fee plus a charge per minute.

At the moment Spain has one of the lowest rates for broadband access mainly because facilities are limited in rural areas and the cost of broadband is still fairly expensive. Broadband is often the best option for those who need regular internet access and it is a much faster service than dial-up. Each provider has a different range of tariffs for broadband and there may be some that will include the cost of hardware in the initial installation charge. Some providers may place limits on their plans so that users are unable to download vast amounts of data without paying extra. Generally you will not need an engineer to carry out the installation unless you need other services installing or you have no phone line to begin with.

Satellite broadband is available in some areas via a satellite phone service. This is ideal for those who are in rural areas and otherwise would have limited services. The satellite dish needs to be placed on the property where there is a clear line of sight south. A user can be connected to the internet at all times and use the phone at the same time, as with regular broadband. Providers will have limits on the amount of data that can be uploaded and downloaded, going over these limits can incur extra costs. The monthly cost of satellite broadband is usually higher than standard broadband services. Installation costs can also be high.

Some areas of Spain are able to make use of WiMax broadband. This stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. This is based on a wireless signal and is often used in rural areas where there is limited or no access to a standard broadband service. Companies such as Aeromax and Iberbanda offer this service but as yet it is not available in all areas of the country.

In order to arrange connection you may be required to present identification documents. You can simply call the provider of your choice or call in to the nearest outlet and order the services in person. As an expat you may be asked to provide a copy of your passport or visa documents and if you are in rented accommodation you may be asked for a copy of your tenancy documents to show that you have the right to live in the property. Most providers have to work through the Telefonica company for installations so it may be that the initial set-up could be up to 20 days from the date that you first contacted them, although this will depend on the area you are in and the workload of the company in that region. Broadband is usually a one year contract although dial-up services can be cancelled at any time.

One of the main providers of standard internet services in Spain is Telefonica. It is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world and has more than 300 million customers worldwide. Telefonica is a private company and has been in existence in Spain since 1924.

Internet usage is regulated by the Comision del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones. This regulates the market and ensures that there is fair competition between telecommunications companies in Spain and has the power to intervene in disputes between providers, but it does not serve as an ombudsman for members of the public.

Useful Resources

Marin Telecom
S.L.U. Apdo. de Correos
368 03330 Crevillent (Alicante)
Tel. 902.347.328
Fax 902.347.329
Email info@aeromax.es

Tel: 800 365 050
Email: atencion.empresas@iberbanda.es

Online operators for live assistance
Tel: 1004 (from a Telefonica line)
Tel: 699 99 10 04
Tel: 900 10 10 10

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