Once a telephone line is installed, Internet access can be procured through one of any number of Internet Service Providers (ISP). Prices can vary greatly from provider to provider.
Dial-up access is the slowest and usually the least expensive (at least on the surface) Internet access option. Dial up uses the telephone line in accessing the Internet; this means the telephone cannot be used simultaneously while connected to the Internet.
Dial-up plans are available with usage billed either:
The broadband (cable modem, ADSL) Internet usage rate in Spain is on a par with the EU average, despite the high access prices and slow average data speeds.
ADSL and cable broadband are much faster than dial-up access and allow the user to stay connected to the Internet 24-hours a day. ISPs generally offer bundled packages that include phone and Internet access at a flat fee (though actual costs may differ depending on taxes and other "fees" the provider adds). The necessary hardware may or may not be included in the cost of the plan; further details may be obtained from the service provider. Plans may have limits regarding how much data can be uploaded or downloaded.
A technician is not required to install ADSL and cable broadband; therefore the customer will usually be responsible for installing the necessary hardware.
Once ADSL or cable broadband is installed, an optional wireless router can be connected allowing for wireless Internet usage within a building.
There are several broadband service providers in Spain:
Satellite phone (including Internet access) can be used instead of land-based broadband. Those living in rural areas may find that satellite broadband is their only option for Internet and telephone service.
Satellite access requires a satellite dish with a clear line of sight to the south. Like regular broadband, it can be connected to the Internet at all times while allowing simultaneous phone calls. Plans may have limits regarding how much data can be uploaded or downloaded. Set-up and monthly service costs are generally much higher than conventional broadband.
WiMax Broadband (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is available in some areas of Spain. It relies on wireless transmission of a signal to connect users to the Internet and has generally been used to "fill the gaps" in rural areas without access to traditional Internet access. It can theoretically transmit 70 mbps over distances of up to 50 km, although actual range is affected by many variables, including network traffic and environmental factors.
Aeromax and Iberbanda offer WiMax, and both have plans to extend the service to areas currently lacking wired Internet access. ConectaBalear provides a WiMax service exclusively to Mallorca and covers most of the island.
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