Choosing an ISP (Internet Service Provider) is surprisingly complex depending on where you live and options available to you. Here are the basics for choosing an ISP.
1) Find out which companies are able to service your address
This is the biggest piece to choosing and ISP and largely depends on your location. Cable providers for example will be able to tell based on your address very quickly. Either you are in their footprint or you’re not. To have them run to your location can be expensive and take a significant amount of time.
(Side note here: I was once looking at renting a house in Renton, WA outside of Seattle. The cable company was not there and the only option we found was VERY SLOW DSL. I asked the cable company how much it would cost to run to this address which was about 3,000 ft and it would’ve cost me $11,000 and about 6 months to get on the calendar. I didn’t do it in case you’re wondering the end of the story…)
If it is a wireless ISP, they will need to run an analysis to see if you are in the footprint and then send someone on site to verify if they can indeed get you online.
2) Compare prices and needs based on your budget
This isn’t as simple of an apples to apples comparison all the time, so here are the factors you need to be aware of when comparing plans:
- Monthly service cost
- Installation cost
- Equipment rental/purchase cost
- Data caps and overage fees
- Customer reviews
Monthly Service Cost
Different companies have different tactics and approaches to get you to come over to them. The most common strategy is the introductory price (for example, you can start at $39.99 for the first 6 months and then it jumps to $89.99 after that) that consumers just need to be aware of.
Depending on what service type it is; it could range from $0 to $200 or more based on the location. Make sure to ask about install costs up front.
This also varies depending on the ISP. Some will provide basic equipment to get you online but no router; some ISPs will only allow you to rent their equipment which adds to the overall monthly cost or upfront cost if you need to purchase the equipment.
This is a hidden fee that many companies have in the fine print and can be extremely costly if you are not aware of them. In case you are wondering, Alyrica doesn’t have data caps, which is great for our customers! More on Data Caps here.
Believe it or not, this is actually a BIG deal. Telecommunication companies are known for being the worst industry to deal with from a customer service perspective.
There are benchmarks out there such as the ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) that helps consumers know what to evaluate when looking at an ISP.
Alyrica monitors NPS weekly and strive to keep our NPS score above 90 (or 3.75X the national average). Friendly, solution oriented customer service; that’s Alyrica!
3) Be aware of early termination fees if you are switching providers
This will also vary differently based on the contract and company that you have service through. We recommend looking at the fine print and calling the ISP to see what the early termination fee would be before you decide to switch in the middle of your contract.
4) Choose and get on the install schedule!
Congrats! Now that you have done your homework and are able to switch to a new ISP, you’re ready to get on the calendar for installation!
NOTE: We always recommend that you have the new service installed before you cancel your current service, just in case there is a snag with the install process and don’t want to be without internet for a while.
Finally: Enjoy your new internet connection!
Want to know if Alyrica is able to provider service at your address? Check our coverage!