Internet, s'il vous plait?
January 13, 2010 7:28 PM   Subscribe

Internet, s'il-vous plait? Looking for resources to get mobile internet: broadband modem or cell phone tethering for 3 months in Paris. Without a parisian bank account.

A colleague just started studying in Paris on a grant for three months, and her apartment has no internet service.

She has tried to get a local cell phone contract, but cannot do so without a local bank account, and the banks are not helpful. Her rental does not allow wiring up cable or DSL.

I have tried, and they do not do data plans. She may be able to travel to the UK to try her luck with a British cell phone service, if they offer plans that work in france.

The computer she is trying to get online is a Mac Book Pro.
posted by sol to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think it's going to be difficult to get a 3G key or DSL subscription without a long-term residence permit + bank account. I'm not aware of any pre-pay data plans that allow tethering. I think her best option is to see what wi-fi networks she can connect to from her apartment, and see if any of them are commercial services that offer subscriptions.

For example, if she can connect to "ozone paris," she can sign up for 18€/month using her US address and credit card. If she can see "orange," she can sign up for that service (which I believe costs around 25€/month). The advantage of these plans is that she can also use them anywhere else in Paris where the provider has an access point.

Another option is for her to find a Parisian who is willing to share their NeufWifi/FreeWifi password. Any person who has a subscription with Neuf or Freebox receives a password (separate from their personal account password) that lets them use wifi for free almost anywhere in Paris (and the Neuf/Free access points have almost 100% coverage in Paris since every subscriber's router also acts as a hotspot).
posted by helios at 7:46 PM on January 13, 2010

One option would be:

- Buy an unlocked iphone (I have no idea what those cost in france, but can be pricy)
- Get a prepaid data plan
- Jailbreak and use one of the many tethering tools

Advantage: you have an iphone you can use when you return to the states

Some places will waive a termination fee if you can prove you've moved to a place they don't offer service. I doubt you can get a french account without a residence permit, though, so it may be sticky.
posted by CharlesV42 at 6:59 AM on January 14, 2010

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