Internet Tariffs in Spain: How to Find the Best
With over 200 different tariffs, multiple options and plenty of providers to choose from, finding the best tariff is not an easy task. Our guide on how to save on your internet bills comes with lots of handy tips.
Fibre or ADSL (broadband)?
Providers have rolled out fibre to cover a large part of the Spanish territory, but just because you live in a (large) town doesn’t necessarily mean fibre will be available at your address.
Before you start comparing tariffs, ask your neighbours which company they use. Additionally input your postcode on the main internet provider websites (Movistar, Orange and Vodafone) to check whether fibre is available for your address.
Who’s responsible for the installation?
Seems an obvious question, right?
New contracts include what providers call ‘normal installation’. This includes a limited number of metres of cable; anything additional will be charged on your first bill.
Full details are included in the small print, but it’s always a good idea to ask before agreeing to a contract to avoid surprises.
What speed will you get?
Fibre speeds are as advertised, but if you have to use ADSL beware of the advertised speeds.
With current legislation companies are not forced to meet a minimum percentage of the maximum speeds shown on their websites. Most only guarantee 10% of the contracted speed, thereby avoiding claims for breach of contract.
The further your home is from the exchange, the slower the speed. A distance of up to 1 km means that a contracted 30 MB broadband package should generally deliver around 25 MB.
You can test the upload and download speed, but only once it’s installed. Take a look at Test de Velocidad.
What type of bundle is best?
Bundles can include one or more mobile lines, TV subscription (Netflix/HBO) and additional services. Most also include unlimited calls from landlines (to national mobiles and landlines, excluding special numbers).
Decide what you need and limit your search to those packages with services you’d actually use. Introductory offers are very attractive to get you to sign up for additional services, but once you start paying the normal price you may regret your bundle choice.
With fibre, bundles tend to be better value. For ADSL you may be able to find a cheaper option with separate contracts.
Bear in mind that in 2020 the EU will introduce legislation to help customers cancel individual services included in bundles (such as TV subscriptions).
Which option should you choose?
With different fibre options (Mbps or Gbps), choose the one that’s right for your household. Take into account the following:
- How many computers, tablets and phones do you have?
- What about other electronics (smart TVs, speakers and games or toys?
- Do you work from home?
As tech improves, so do speeds. Additionally the number of items that require an internet connection at home is also on the increase. It’s probably not worth saving a few euros per month on a cheaper bundle if the internet service will fall short of your requirements.
Is a landline mandatory (as part of a bundle)?
Landline use is reducing year upon year; in Spain landlines are used less than 5 minutes per day per line. However the majority of providers still insist on including the monthly landline charge at a cost of around 20€.
If you never use a landline, and really don’t want to have to pay for one, consider opting for an internet-only contract offered by some providers.
So, where can you find the best deal?
As we said at the beginning of this article, with over 200 tariffs that change regularly, special promos, introductory offers and changing technology it’s a question that’s almost impossible to answer.
All prices shown on provider websites must include IVA (sales tax). With promos prices, as well as the length of the promo the operator must indicate the normal price that will be applied after the promo ends.
The independent comparison tool, offered by Spanish Consumer Organisation OCU, is occasionally available for the general public (at other times access is limited to OCU members).
A comprehensive list of tariffs can be found on ADSLZone and Xataca. You could also use comparison sites such as Rastreator or Kelisto, however remember that they may promote links – double check that their suggestions are really the best options for your needs.