What Are the Real Costs of Business Internet Service?
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Understand What You’re Paying For – Speed, Installation, Equipment and Service
When comparing internet service for your small or medium-sized business, the main consideration is speed. How much bandwidth will your business need to operate efficiently and competitively, today and in the future? As you would expect, regardless of the type of internet (DSL, cable, fiber or satellite), higher speeds come with a higher cost. But if you only consider speed-per-dollar, you might not get the value you bargained for. Usually, there are other costs involved, including installation, equipment and service.
Speed is the number one factor in the price of internet service. The faster the speed, the higher the price. Overall, this holds true for all types of service: DSL, Cable, Fiber and Satellite. That’s why it’s important to know and purchase just the speed you need.
Consider, too, how other factors can affect your price – promotional offers, bundling and long-term contracts. Take these into consideration when comparing costs. Just keep in mind an introductory price will eventually expire. And the price you lock in with a long-term contract may not be competitive years from now.
Try comparing the stand-alone, non-special pricing of various internet services. You’ll get a good idea of what your long-term experience and cost will be.
Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will include the equipment for free or have already included the fee in the monthly cost. However, most ISPs will charge a one-time fee for the equipment or add an equipment rental fee to your monthly bill. This cost can include equipment such as modems, routers, satellite dish, inside wiring, additional outlets and a host of other specialized equipment needed to bring service to your location. When the cost of this equipment is added to the advertised monthly fee, it can substantially change the actual value of the service.
Installation and Activation
If your business has the expertise to install your own internet service, there may be no charge for installation. Most customers, however, will require a technician to install equipment and activate service. In most instances you may incur little more than a standard installation and activation fee, around $50. But make sure you know, because it depends on your location, whether service needs to be established for your building and what’s being installed. You don’t want to get surprised with installation charges in the hundreds or thousands of dollars.
In most instances, if there is a problem with your service or wiring, your ISP will provide for repair or replacement at no charge. But not in every instance. Protection plans usually involve an additional fee, especially if they provide access to third-party wiring consultants and repair technicians. Another type of service fee involves data usage. Some business internet plans come with a monthly data allotment. If your business goes over the monthly limit, you may incur additional charges – or be asked to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Choosing the Right Business Internet
Depending on where your business is located, your choices for internet service could as few as one company or as many as 50. While speed-per-dollar is the most important way to compare the various internet options, there can be other charges as well. To find the real value, you should read beyond the advertised price and specifically ask about all other fees and costs.