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Rotterdam - Communications (Telephone, Internet, TV, Post)

Expatriates can choose from a range of communication providers who can offer packaged deals – for example, fixed telephone lines ('bellen') and internet access ('surfen').

For fixed telephone lines, KPN is a major supplier but there are several smaller companies (e.g. Pretium or Tele2) that also offer good service and attractive packages. Before deciding on a provider, you need to check with the company as to whether they have access to the cabling in your area in case of technical difficulties / support. Be prepared to wait (in some cases, weeks) before your telephone line is activated, or modem for internet access arrives.

When making calls, in general, note that numbers beginning with “0800" are toll-free (non-chargeable) numbers. “0900" numbers are charged per minute or per call.

For internet access, dial-up, ISDN, ADSL and cable are available. To compare service providers and rates, try this website.

More and more expatriates prefer to sign up for a mobile telephone line as most suppliers can activate the lines within 24 hours (or a few days). Mobile service providers offer a post-paid contract ('abonnementen') for better deals, but you can opt to purchase a pre-paid Dutch SIM card. There are several mobile phone service providers to choose from.

Free-to-air television programs are in Dutch (Nederland 1, 2 and 3). TV West is a local channel. Over 90% of Dutch households subscribe to cable television. The main provider for Cable TV is UPC. Digital satellite television is available via CanalDigitaal. IPTV is also offered by KPN and Tele2. Standard cable television packages include BBC 1 and 2, BBC World, CNN and Net 7 (popular US television serials).

Post offices in Rotterdam ('postkantoor' or TNT Post) are marked in orange. Post-boxes can be found throughout the city. For post within the city limits, use the 'streekpost' slot; for post outside the city, use the 'overige bestemmingen' slot. Post offices also open at 9 am and close at 5 or 6 pm. The TNT Post website has a useful feature that helps you fill up missing addresses or postcodes.

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