In a world of cable TV cord cutting, or really the world today (in general), you need a high speed internet connection.
It’s one of the few things that I’m not going to advise you to pull back on, if you are smart about how you are doing it (more on that in a bit).
Lets hope that the greedy ISP’s don’t figure out how integral it is to us being able to get by without their cable TV offering.
Wait, they already have!
The cost for 25 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up at Comcast (my lovely neighborhood ISP monopoly) is $65 per month. The next lower tier is only 5 Mbps down, which does not adequately stream video, so I’m stuck.
That $65 per month is for nothing more than me plugging my own modem in to the line that they ran (on subsidized government dollars probably) to my house a few decades ago. Considering it only costs $300 to do that with higher priced fiber today, and almost nothing to maintain the lines, that’s almost 100% pure profit for these guys.
Sadly, I don’t see prices going down any. When you have a monopoly on high speed, what is preventing you from jacking your rates? Heck, when you are a monopoly, what’s preventing you from doing anything that would require any sort of investment either? The result is Americans are paying ridiculous rates for slow internet speeds. The average South Korean has 200X faster internet than the average American.
Want to pay less?
Sure, we could get 6 Mbps down and 750kb up from an AT&T DSL line. But who has time to sit around for an hour while a 15 minute video buffers and loads?
But until a legitimate disruptive competitor comes to your and my town, we have to make do with what we’ve got.
So here are my suggestions on how to polish the high-speed internet monopoly turd, as best you can:
1. Don’t pay up for speeds you don’t need
It’d be nice to have twice the speeds (Comcast offers 50 Mbps down) that I currently do for just $15 per month more. But I don’t need it. If I can stream 1080p HD quality video, without having to buffer, why would I pay more? I know that opting for slower internet speeds than the maximum available might seem anti-geek persona to the many beloved geeks out there, but just think of how anti-geeky it would be to further line your ISP’s pockets?
2. Do not pay for a modem rental fee
Most ISP’s are now giving you the honor of renting their modems for the low monthly payment of $8 per month. Here’s the thing. You don’t need to do that. Buy your own modem, and don’t let them rip you off further than they already are. I’ve previously discussed 3 ways you can get rid of your modem rental fee. My favorite? Just replace your modem rental altogether so you don’t have to deal with constant haggling. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Negotiate lower rates
With no modem rental as carrot bait, there’s nothing stopping you from negotiating a lower price on your connection. Even if there are no legit competitors in the area, I always start the conversation by saying I’m thinking of switching to one. And if you do own your own modem, dropping the service, and starting it back up shortly thereafter is a simple phone call away. That gives you more leverage.
4. When all else fails
Hit up your local library or these other fine purveyors of free-wifi.
Cheapest High Speed Internet Discussion:
- Are there any crazy high-speed satellite or national high speed internet players with competitive pricing that you know about?
- How have you gotten the fastest internet speeds at the lowest rates?
- What negotiation strategies on internet have you effectively used with your ISP?