Moving into your new Dutch home? Get yourself connected with our guide to setting up TV, home phone, and the internet in the Netherlands.
Whether you rent an apartment in Amsterdam or buy a family home in the Dutch countryside, one of the first things you’ll need to do when you move in is to get yourself connected. Setting up your television, landline telephone, and broadband connections is a great way to make your new house feel like home.
These days, the number of options when it comes to choosing these connections can seem confusing. 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 the Netherlands covers the following:
- Getting connected in a new home
- Communications in the Netherlands
- Setting up TV in the Netherlands
- Getting a landline telephone in the Netherlands
- Setting up an internet connection in the Netherlands
- Paying for your bills in the Netherlands
- Making a complaint about a telecoms company
- Useful resources
Getting connected in a new home
Whether you’re renting or buying in the Netherlands, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to set up your own TV, phone, and internet connection in your new home.
If you’re renting, it’s possible that your new home will already have these services. If so, their cost will be included within your monthly payments. In such cases, you can ask your landlord to issue you with an account (eindafrekening) showing real costs at least once a year. However, you should clarify this with your landlord prior to signing the contract if you’re unsure what your rental payment actually includes.
Generally speaking, serviced apartments in the Netherlands come with communications services included as standard. 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 the Netherlands
If you do need to set up TV, home phone, and internet in your new home, the Netherlands has a whole host of options to choose from.
Although there was once a time when these services were provided by different companies, these days the bigger Dutch providers are increasingly diversifying their output. The biggest TV, internet, and phone providers in the Netherlands include the following:
You can often get 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. You can do this easily using the online comparison sites like Pricewise and Prijsvergelijken, which will show you the options you have in your neighborhood.
If you would prefer someone to take the stress out of setting up your new home, you can also use a utility installation service. Expat-friendly services such as Partner Pete offer English-speaking assistance when it comes to setting up utilities in the Netherlands.
Setting up TV in the Netherlands
Television in the Netherlands is of good quality and widely accessible. Since 2006, all Dutch terrestrial channels have been digital, and many of the most popular channels are free-to-air. For more information on Dutch TV and what you can expect, read our guide to TV and radio in the Netherlands.
Despite the availability of these channels, over 90% of the Dutch population prefer cable TV. Generally speaking, people receive cable TV in the Netherlands through their internet provider, although this isn’t necessarily the case. You are able to choose different providers for different services.
The price you pay for this 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 Dutch national and local channels.
These providers also offer a range of additional TV packages you can choose from. The most popular options for these are generally sports and movie channels. These packages also often include extra services, including access to on-demand movies and TV series. Some also include interactive TV, meaning you can pause and record live television.
How do I set up TV in the Netherlands?
Setting up your new TV connection is relatively straightforward and you can do this yourself. You’ll receive a package from your TV provider with the cables and connections you need. This will come with an instruction booklet. However, this booklet will likely be in Dutch.
If that sounds too complicated, providers generally offer an installation service for first-time subscribers. The cost of this service varies between providers, so be sure to check prices beforehand.
Getting a landline telephone in the Netherlands
Many expats enjoy the security of having a landline telephone. This is important to ensure they can speak to friends and family back home. In the Netherlands, KPN owns the Dutch landline network and is the biggest supplier of home phone connections. Despite this, there are plenty of other providers.
However, the vast majority of home phone connections come as part of combination deals. They are bundled together with internet, TV, and even mobile phone in some instances. Calls are generally cheap in the Netherlands. That said, you may want to register with a dedicated international specialist like bel1649 if you plan on calling friends and family overseas.
If you’re also looking for a new mobile phone or Dutch SIM card, check out our guide to everything you need to know about mobile phones in the Netherlands.
How do I set up a landline phone in the Netherlands?
This should be fairly straightforward. Providing your line has been connected and paid for, all you should need to do is plug in your home 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.
Setting up an internet connection in the Netherlands
The good news for expats is that the Netherlands has one of the best and fastest broadband networks in Europe. It also has one of the highest broadband connection rates per 100,000 inhabitants. So, you’ll be in good company when you sign up for broadband.
Cable is the most common form of connection, although fiber-optic (glasvezel) is becoming increasingly popular throughout the country. Internet providers generally offer cable as the basic connection, with fiber-optic offered at a premium price. However, not all areas can support a fiber-optic connection. Check beforehand to see your options. Most internet providers will do this check for you.
When it comes to choosing a provider, you’ll find most offer a range of packages. These packages are often priced according to download speed, alongside other ‘extras’ such as TV packages and on-demand video access. It’s essential you choose the right package for you. For example, if your family spends a lot of time gaming, you’ll need a higher download speed. If you use the internet for social media and subscription TV such as Disney+ or hayu, you should be fine with lower download speed.
The biggest internet providers in the Netherlands 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 the online comparison site Prijsvergelijken, which will quickly show you your options.
How do I set up the internet in the Netherlands?
It’s relatively straightforward to get yourself connected to the internet in the Netherlands. Generally speaking, providers will either offer an installation service or send you the tools to connect yourself. If you’re connecting to TV, internet, and home phone at the same time, you may prefer to take advantage of the installation service.
However, you can make it even easier for yourself by using an installation service. These services, such as Partner Pete, offer English-speaking set-up and installation of all home utilities.
Getting a VPN in the Netherlands
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 the Netherlands include:
Paying for your TV, phone, and internet bills in the Netherlands
Paying for your TV, internet, or landline phone bills is usually done on a monthly basis. 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 Dutch bank account to set up these payments. If you don’t already have a Dutch account, it’s possible to set one up in minutes by using an online mobile bank like bunq. For more information, visit our guide to mobile banking in the Netherlands.
Making a complaint about a telecoms company
Every Dutch telecommunications company 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 Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets (Authoriteit Consument & Markt). They have an English language page where you can submit your complaint and all relevant supporting documentation.