Well, where do I start? The phone company here is Telecom. The person who makes the call, pays for the call. So, with that being said, if someone calls you, feel free to talk as long as you want - it is their dime! For your regular phone at home, you pay even to call your neighbor across the street. It really is not too bad. Your monthly service only starts out at like about $15, and then you pay extra for whatever phone calls you make. It can add up though, so watch out! Also, it is way cheaper to call a landline than it is to call a cell phone. Again, whoever makes the call, pays, even with cell phone. If someome calls you on your cell, you don't have to worry about wasting your minutes - you aren't paying for the call!
We had our Internet service through T-online (phone company). We have found them to be the best company to deal with. They just bill your Internet on your phone bill. They are also offering the ISDN service if you are familiar with that. Cable Modem is also available in some areas. There are other internet services, but I am not sure what they are charging. If you're interested on connections for commercial purposes, it might be a good idea to check out online services that offer broadband. T-online prices listed below. 9/05 - in our new house off base, we have DSL. After the initial setup fees, the monthly fee is about €40 per month. Be aware that only so many houses in a village can have DSL at one time. You may have to wait for someone to cancel service before you can get it.
Long distance is about 4.5 cents a minute. There are also codes that you can dial before making your phone call that will save you money.......this one is like 3 cents a minute! To call back to the states: dial 01081-001-area code-phone #
A lot of people also use a service called Vonage. http://www.vonage.com/ Maybe someone could share their thoughts on this service?
TelevisionOn base, you can get AFN through cable. You get about 6 channels total. Click here for the website for AFN. Off base, you can get AFN TV or SKY (British Tele) with a satellite.
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Info for Spangdahlem/Bitburg Areas
You can get TKS phone and DSL just about anywhere but they make you pay for the router and the price goes up if you want faster DSL. You can also go through a place called T-Punkt in Bitburg for your phone and internet (which I recommend). Phone is a flat rate of 30 Euro a month, to call to the states it is 3.7 cents a minute anytime of day and you have free nights starting at 6pm until 7am to call inside Germany. The DSL is also a flat rate of 30 Euro a month and they give you the highest speed your phone line will handle. They also give you a free wireless router!!! - Submitted by Joel Astore 4/06
ATTENTION NEWCOMERS - Submitted by Joana 6/29/07 ~ Danke Joana!
Keep this in mind for when you &/or your spouse arrives in Germany, signs for housing and is ready to get phone/internet service started. It REALLY HELPS if you get the name of the previous tenant. If moving on-post, usually the housing office has no problem providing such information. If moving off-post of course the release of such information is at the discretion of your new landlord but I think it's worth asking. This way you acquire previous tenant's phone number and if the phone jacks are in working condition (sometimes jacks are painted over &/or the contractors damage them during remodeling) your phone service can be up & running as soon as 2-5 days max. Depending on the provider, this can even help you save money on installation/connection fees. Another alternative to TKS service (middle-man which goes thru Deutsch Telekom) is venturing off-post to any store with the name T-Punkt, finding someone who speaks English and getting phone/internet service directly with Deutsch Telekom. I have service directly with Deutsch Telekom but we got that done via a German Translator at our ACS (we are Army). It's a service our ACS offers but I know that not all posts/bases do. TKS, sometimes, has much better deals on calling plans but not always. TKS sometimes charges a bit more for being the middle-man but on the plus side at least the bills are in English. http://www.tkscable.com/tkssnap_00875c913ffc307f3935fff810f797fe.htm
But I seriously recommend all you newcomers do not fear venturing off-post for alternate choices and possibly better deals. This is also true for cell phones. While sometimes TKS has cheap deals on pre-paid cell phones they tend to run out quickly and will not re-stock for months as they want to sell their expensive cellular phone models instead. I got me a very basic pre-paid cell phone (no camera, but it has text msg capability which I use A LOT) for about 35 Euros and that came with about 10 Euros worth of prepaid minutes ready to use.
FYI, cell phones are called "handy" in German.
The objective is to get phone/internet service up & running as quickly as possible. And getting a cell phone ASAP doesn't hurt either. I'm posting this b/c I know not many people know or are told about this upon their arrival. My neighbor just reminded me about this as she was just having a conversation with some newcomers who were registering their child at the HS (she's the Registrar) and inevitably the subject came up when she asked them for their contact info. That is when they proceeded to tell her how frustrating & slow (time consuming) it has been to get phone/internet service. They PCS'd here from Korea and they were not told about the tip of getting previous tenants full name for quicker service. I know there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to call back "home" or staying in touch with spouses stuck back at previous duty station. It's a shame but newcomer briefings really need to be updated or welcome wagon groups should really share this information. However, I do also believe that people need to ask questions and go out seek it. ACS is a great #1 stop upon arrival and their Relocation Personnel are usually very helpful. Not everyone manages to get a Sponsor and even when they do, they don't always know how to help with every situation. I am very conscious of the fact that venturing off-post may not be as easy for everyone depending on whether or not they have a vehicle or can find someone who knows the area well to take them to the nearest off-post business/shopping area. I very well know one feels very disoriented and overwhelmed upon arrival but..... this is why every tid-bit of information one can learn about in advance can turn out to be very helpful down the line. Regardless, I hope these tips comes in handy (the American meaning for handy hehehe)!
Submitted by Jennessa 8/6/10 ~ Danke Jennessa!
Internet is available at high speed and unlimited. Both Telekom and Deutsch Kabel have such packages. My last telekom phone package had unlimited calls to lan lines in Germany and unlimited high speed DSL, for around 34 or 40 euors. For 4 euros more a month, I also got unlimited calls to all of western europe, canada, and the US.
Submitted by Doug 3/30/11 ~ Danke Doug!
Phone/Internet is not that expensive(off base). I have DSL no limit on time used(SLOW compared to US) and home service with unlimited calls to US for about $40-$60 per month. Note that service is VERY different depending on the village. Ask people that live nearby what their(Internet) service is like.