Transform your house in Austria into your new home with our expert guide to setting up internet, home phone, and TV in Austria.
Whether you’re moving into a trendy apartment in the heart of Vienna’s hippest districts, or a family home in the beautiful Alpine city of Innsbruck, one thing’s for certain. Connecting your home to internet, landline telephone, and TV will be one of the first things on your to-do list when you move in.
If you’re a new arrival to the country, the idea of setting up internet, home phone, and TV in Austria can seem daunting. But, it doesn’t have. To give you a hand, our helpful expat guide lays out everything you need to know about setting up your home communications. This includes information on the following:
- Communications in Austria
- Getting connected in a new home
- Getting a landline telephone in Austria
- Setting up an internet connection in Austria
- Setting up TV in Austria
- Paying for your bills
- Making a complaint about a telecoms company
- Useful resources
Communications in Austria
New arrivals in Austria will find they have an ever-increasing number of options when it comes to home telecoms. The local market is well-stocked with companies vying for your business, meaning you have a range of providers to choose from.
While telecoms services have previously been provided through different companies, these days Austrian telecoms companies offer a range of services. This includes TV, home phone, and internet connections. Many also provide mobile phone services and subscriptions, should you be in the market for an Austrian SIM card. Some of the biggest home telecoms providers in Austria include:
- 3 (Drei)
Many providers offer discounts if you take out more than one service, which many customers do. Some providers also offer deals that include mobile phone subscriptions, so it pays to shop around and find out if you could save money. The easiest way to do this is by using a comparison website, such as Durch Blicker.
Getting connected in a new home
Whether you’re relocating with the whole family or branching out alone, one of the first things you’ll want to do when you arrive in Austria is getting your home connected. Generally speaking, if you’re buying real estate in Austria, you’ll probably need to start from scratch in terms of internet and TV connections. An existing phone line may be present, but you’ll still need to set up your subscription. The lack of existing connections means you have the freedom to choose providers. However, the set-up process may take longer, so get started as soon as possible.
If you’re renting in Austria, your new home may well have these services connected already. If this is the case, their costs may be included in your monthly rental payments. However, be sure to clarify this with your landlord before signing any paperwork. Also, check what (if anything) is placed in your name, and whether you’re able to change providers should you want to find an alternative supplier.
Serviced and short-term apartments will generally have all your communication needs included in the rental price. It may be possible to change providers, should you wish. However, consider minimum contract lengths and the duration of your stay in Austria before signing up to any contracts.
Getting a landline telephone in Austria
Despite much of modern life being lived on our smartphones, for some getting a landline telephone connection (Festnetz) at home remains an important part of setting up home in Austria. Indeed, many expats enjoy the security of having a landline connection, allowing them to call friends home and abroad easily. Thankfully, setting up your home phone in Austria is relatively easy.
Historically, A1 (formerly known as Telekom Austria) has dominated the fixed-line home landline market due to its former guise as the state-owned operator. However, while the Austrian telecoms market has been liberalized, A1 still dominates the market as they operate much of the country’s fixed-line network. Other providers of home phone services exist, often using digital telephony connections.
Many providers offer home phone services as part of a package deal with internet, TV, and even mobile phone subscriptions. These deals can work out significantly cheaper. However, be aware that Austrian telecom contracts are often for 24 months and it can be difficult to cancel one midway through. To avoid this, look for “no commitment” contracts (Ohne Bindung)
How do I set up a landline phone in Austria?
If you’re moving into a new Austrian house without any phone connections, you’ll probably need to contact A1 to set up a brand new line. This can take a few working days and an engineer will likely come to your house for the installation. If your new home already has a phone line installed, you can choose to either change to a new provider or keep the existing one. Once you have decided on your provider, you can set up your new connection.
When opening a new connection, you’ll need to provide your supplier with the following information:
- Proof of identification (most likely a passport)
- Proof of address (registration certificate)
- Bank account details
It will likely take a few days to activate your account and you will probably be informed of this in writing or via email. If you’re moving within Austria, contact your existing provider to move your phone number/internet contract to your new address. If you’re at the end of your contract, tell your new provider you wish to change and they’ll likely be able to take care of the switch for you.
Setting up an internet connection in Austria
If you’re looking to shop, socialize, or simply surf online, you’ll be pleased to know Austria’s internet network is fast and far-reaching. Internet connections are generally provided through fixed DSL (digital subscriber line) cables. Some providers also offer fiber optic connections, letting you access significantly faster download speeds. Another alternative offered by some providers is cellular and hybrid connections available through 4G and 5G, if accessible. Bear in mind that internet speeds vary substantially across the country. Do a speed-test and research your local options before signing any contract.
Due to its history as the former state provider, A1 remains a popular internet provider for many Austrian residents. However, don’t let that stop you from shopping around for the right deal for you and your family. You’ll find a whole host of different providers and packages to choose from, and the competition is fierce. Internet tariffs are generally priced according to download speed and cable type. You’ll also be able to add additional extras with some suppliers, such as TV packages and music subscriptions.
The biggest internet providers in Austria include:
- 3 (Drei)
When signing up for home internet, it’s essential you find the right package for your needs. For example, if your family spends a lot of time gaming, you’ll need a higher download speed. On the other hand, should you only use the internet for social media and subscription TV services like Disney+ and Netflix, you’ll probably be fine with lower download speed. Before signing a contract, read the small print. Many providers have strict minimum contract lengths, although most also offer subscriptions without commitment (Ohne Bindung).
How do I set up an internet connection in Austria?
Once you’ve decided on your provider, tariff, and any other add-ons, you’re ready to get your home connected to the big wide world. Thankfully, it’s fairly straightforward to set up your Austrian internet connection. The connection process will largely depend on the internet you choose. For example, if you sign up for cellular internet, you should be able to connect as soon as you receive the installation package from your provider. However, if you prefer a fixed-line connection, this will take longer, especially if you need technical help for the installation. A brand new connection will likely take a few weeks before you can start surfing.
If you’re already living in Austria and moving address, contact your provider as soon as you know your new contact details. They will be able to help you manage the move, taking the stress out of the process, and ensuring you remain online as much as possible.
Getting a VPN in Austria
When moving abroad, it’s more important than ever to ensure your privacy and security while surfing online. For many expats, this means getting a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs can help you browse with more anonymity and privacy wherever you are in the world. They can also help unblock online content, letting you access your favorite sites and platforms from home and abroad. VPNs available in Austria include:
Setting up TV in Austria
As in many other European countries, Austrian TV is generally decent quality, offering a range of programming that is widely accessible throughout the country. While digital terrestrial TV is available in Austria, most households get their television fix through cable and satellite, often bundled together with their home internet connection. Due to this, you’ll find a range of TV options for all tastes and budgets. These TV packages are often available for a relatively small additional fee. Some of the more popular TV providers in Austria include:
- 3 (Drei)
The price you end up paying for your TV subscription will largely depend on your chosen package. Most providers offer a basic TV package with the most popular channels from Austria and abroad. You are then able to add additional channels according to your preferences, including movies, live sport from around Europe and beyond, and children’s programs. You can also include features such as interactive TV and additional subscriptions, like Disney+ or Sky Austria. Be aware that to legally watch TV in Austria, you’ll need to purchase a local TV license, or broadcasting fee (Rundfunkabgabe). For more information, check out our guide to TV and radio in Austria.
Paying for your bills
Whatever provider you end up choosing, paying for your Austrian TV, internet, and landline bills is usually done on a monthly basis. Your provider will let you know their preferred payment method. This is likely to be through a monthly collection (direct debit) or a bank transfer.
Depending on your provider, you may need to have an Austrian bank account to set up these payments. If you don’t already have a local account, read our guide to opening a bank account in Austria. Furthermore, it’s possible to apply for an account in minutes by using a mobile banking app, like N26.
Making a complaint about a telecoms company
Every Austrian telecom company has its own complaints process if you feel their service has not been up to scratch. You’ll be able to find details of how to lodge a complaint on their website. However, should you wish to complain about the provider itself, you’ll need to contact the RTR (Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs), Austria’s media and telecoms regulator. Check their website for more details on the complaints process and what you can expect.
- RTR (Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs) – Austria’s telecoms regulator