The Netherlands has excellent infrastructure. Practically every home has mains electricity, potable water, central heating, fixed-line phones, and mobile phone and high-speed Internet coverage.
Most utilities in The Netherlands are sold in a ‘free-market system'. This means there are a number of suppliers competing with each other to supply private and business customers. Exceptions to this are water, where each property has a designated supplier, and the hardware (cables, etc.) used for fixed-line telephony and cable TV. The two last-mentioned are owned by the company that installed them and there is a charge for their use even if the signals passing through the cables come from another supplier.
Whilst this system gives the advantage of lower prices and improved service, it also means that new arrivals may find choosing suppliers complicated. Getting connected to utilities suppliers is often time-consuming and sometimes difficult for people moving to The Netherlands. The main problem is simply language: although most Dutch people speak English, you may need to navigate through several Dutch-language telephone menus before you can speak to an operator. Be patient and ask for help if you need it.
If you can work things out from a Dutch website (or can get someone to assist you), a visit to www.huisaansluitingen.nl will help you get connected to gas, water, energy, cable and telecoms at the same time.
In general, electricity, water, gas, and cable companies are best contacted by phone; Internet providers through the web (at work in this case), and mobile phone companies via the web for comparison, and then by going to a shop to buy.
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