Moving into your new home in Belgium? Get yourself connected with our guide to setting up TV, home phone, and internet in Belgium.
Whether you’re renting an apartment in Brussels or buying a family home in the Flemish countryside, one of the first things to do when you move in is to get yourself connected. Setting up your television, landline telephone, and broadband is a great way to make your new house feel like home.
Nowadays, the number of options available for these connections can seem overwhelming. But with an ever-increasing amount of our lives lived online, it’s essential you find the right services for you. To help you out, our guide to setting up TV, home phone, and internet in Belgium covers the following:
- Getting connected in a new home
- Communications in Belgium
- Setting up TV in Belgium
- Getting a landline telephone in Belgium
- Setting up an internet connection in Belgium
- Paying for your bills in Belgium
- Making a complaint about a telecoms company
- Useful resources
Want to get connected in your new home? Proximus is a telecom provider in Belgium offering a range of services for the home, including internet, home phone, and TV. Choose the option that's right for you or bundle them together into a discount package. Get connected with Proximus.
Getting connected in a new home
Whether you’re buying or renting, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to set up your own TV, phone, and internet connection when you move to Belgium.
If you’re renting in Belgium, it’s possible that your new home will already have these services. If so, the cost will be included in your monthly payments. In such cases, you should be able to ask your landlord for information on the breakdown of these costs. Make sure to clarify these charges with them prior to signing any rental contract; especially if you’re unsure what your rental payment actually includes.
Generally speaking, serviced apartments in Belgium come with communications services included as standard. If you’re staying long-term, you can then choose to either disconnect and find your own provider or continue using the existing connections. It’s likely you’ll be able to find a cheaper deal yourself, although changing providers may not be worth your while.
Communications in Belgium
If you do need to set up TV, home phone, and internet in your new home, Belgium has a whole host of options to choose from.
Although these services were once provided by different companies, these days the biggest telecommunications providers in Belgium are increasingly diversifying their output. The biggest TV, internet, and phone providers in Belgium include the following:
Providers will often offer discounted packages that include television, landline telephone, and broadband connections. Some of these companies also include discounts for mobile phone subscriptions, too, so it’s best to shop around to get the best deal for you. The easiest way to do this is with a comparison site like Aanbieders, who also offer a connection service should you wish to take the stress out of getting connected.
Setting up TV in Belgium
Television in Belgium is generally good quality and widely accessible. Both Flemish and French public TV networks are available digitally, alongside a range of other national and international channels.
Belgian’s love their cable TV, and the country has one of the most extensive networks in Europe. Through cable TV, residents in each region of Belgium (Dutch-speaking, French-speaking, and German-speaking areas of the country) can enjoy popular TV channels from across the border.
The price you pay for your TV service will depend on the package you choose. Most providers offer a basic package that comes as standard with their internet service. This includes expat-friendly channels like BBC One, BBC Two, CNN, and MTV alongside a wide range of local and Dutch/French/German channels.
These providers offer a number of additional TV packages you can choose from. The most popular options for these are generally international sports and movie channels. You can often choose additional services, including access to on-demand movies and TV series. Some may even include interactive TV, allowing you to pause and record live television.
How do I set up TV in Belgium?
Setting up your new TV connection is relatively straightforward and you can do this yourself. Once you’ve chosen your provider and preferred package, you’ll likely receive a package from your provider in the mail. This will include all the cables, boxes, and connections you need to set up your own TV service. This will come with an instruction booklet. However, this booklet will probably be in French, Dutch, and maybe German so you’ll be able to practice your language skills.
If that sounds too complicated, most providers will offer an installation service for first-time subscribers. The cost of this service varies between providers, so be sure to check the prices beforehand.
Getting a landline telephone in Belgium
While some expats will be happy with just a mobile phone, others enjoy having a home phone. A landline phone can be particularly useful if you plan to speak to friends and family back home a lot as they can often work out cheaper than mobile phone calls.
In Belgium, Proximus (formerly Belgacom) is the biggest provider of home phone connections and remains part-owned by the Belgian state. Generally speaking, phone calls are generally cheap in Belgium. That said, you may want to register with a dedicated international specialist if you plan on calling friends and family overseas.
Many Belgian residents choose their home phone connections as part of combination deals. They are bundled together with internet, TV, and even mobile phone in some instances. If you need a new mobile phone or Belgian SIM card, check out our guide to getting a Belgian mobile phone number.
How do I set up a landline phone in Belgium?
Setting up your home phone in Belgium is fairly straightforward. Once you’ve signed up and your phone line has been connected (if necessary), you’ll probably need to simply plug in your phone. If you need to do anything else, your provider will likely send you the right information. However, remember that this could be in Dutch/French.
Setting up an internet connection in Belgium
Belgium has a widespread and accessible broadband network that ranks highly when compared to other European countries. The most common form of connection is cable, although an increasing number of users are opting for fiber-optic. However, not all areas can support a fiber-optic connection so check with your provider to explore your options. Most internet providers will perform this check for you.
When it comes to choosing a provider, most offer a variety of packages. These are often priced according to download speed and other ‘extras’ such as extra TV channels and on-demand subscription services. It’s essential that you choose the right package for you. For example, if your kids spend a lot of time gaming, you’ll need a higher download speed. If your family enjoys subscription TV services like Netflix or hayu, you should be fine with a lower download speed.
The biggest internet providers in Belgium include the following:
You can often get discounted packages that include television, landline telephone, and broadband. This means it’s best to shop around to get the best deal for you. You can do this easily using an online comparison site which will quickly show you your options.
How do I set up the internet in Belgium?
Connecting to home broadband is fairly easy in Belgium. Generally speaking, providers will either offer an installation service or send you a DIY installation kit complete with instructions. If you’re a new arrival and connecting to TV, internet, and home phone at the same time, you may prefer to take advantage of the installation service.
Getting a VPN in Belgium
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 Belgium include:
Paying for your bills in Belgium
Paying for your TV, internet, or landline phone bills in Belgium is usually done on a monthly basis. If you take out a package deal for more than one service, this will likely be billed together. Your service provider will stipulate their preferred payment method. This is likely to be through a monthly collection (direct debit) or bank transfer.
Depending on your provider, you may need to have a Belgian bank account to set up these payments. If you don’t already have an account in Belgium, it’s possible to set one up in minutes by using an online mobile bank like Hello Bank! For more information, read our guide to mobile banking in Belgium.
Making a complaint about a telecoms company
Every telecommunications provider in Belgium will have its own complaints process should you feel their service has not been up to scratch. However, should you want to complain about the company itself, you can do so by contacting the Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecommunications. They have an English language page where you can submit your complaint and all relevant supporting documentation.