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How To Get Lower Internet Access Costs
With the increasing need for data transfer, greater options for access (for example where cables aren't yet laid) and even, the introduction of metered plans, or "usage based billing" -- that the FCC has okayed, as of December 2010 -- know that there are ways of reducing the total provider bill that are concentrated on preserving your service. Here are a few;
1) Bundled Plans - Customers can save 30% to 50% and possibly more over stand alone internet based pricing where they choose to have the same provider for their internet as their phone service. Particularly popular with DSL since it's already run through the phone line, or, the combination of tv/internet/phone going through cable or wireless broadband.
2) Annual versus Monthly Payments - many pre-paid, annual payments will reduce the bill. For example, NetZero gives $5 off per month on ther Accelerated plan when paid for upfront, saving the customer 33.45% over the course of the year.
3) Online Purchase Options - certain providers do offer a price reduction incentive for ordering online. Verizon offers $5 a month reduced price and a wireless router valued at $34.99 savings when placing the order online.
4) Activation/Installation Fees - not to be confused with "activation", free installation is a phrase much bandied about for enticing customers toward sign-up, and it usually applies to standard installation only. Although activation also may be wavied for new customer signups -- if it is not automatic, specifically request that activation be waived in order for you as a customer to start the internet service.
Note that the choice of the wireless router can virtually eliminate hard wiring throughout the home and thus recurring installation charges under the same plan for additional users. While many do believe that the speed of wired routers cannot be equaled. Nonetheless, it is not unheard of for homeowners to run ethernet cable themselves, knowing that walls will need to be opened and some planning of pathways, etc will be involved.
5) Modem Lease versus Purchase - it usually only pays to buy the modem when you either prefer a faster modem than the one supplied by the IP, and/or it does not happen to break down or need service in the future, keeping in mind that modems must be capable of the specific type of internet access you are subscribed to (wireless for wireless, DSL for same, etc). Prices for modems range between $70 to $200. Typical lease fees are $5 to $10 per month.
6) Creative Usage of Internet Access - plan out how many users will be accessing the internet. Adding temporary users via WIFI routers is fairly simplified in the home setting, by providing new users with assigned passwords and can be viewed as cost-effective over wired connections assuming that all devices are already equipped with network cards.
6) Eliminate Disincentives for Switching Providers/Better Priced Plans - Providers are aware of the setup and inconvenience of changing email addresses over. Therefore, consider independent emails such as from a personal website or free gmail, for instance, so as to remove any disincentive for changing to another provider plan. Another similar aspect could be whether you are locked in for the internet signal when preferring to change tv or phone providers as part of an existing bundled plan and any related termination fees.
7) Be Clear on Early Termination Fees - and any such conditions that apply. For example, if you happen to move to another location where access is not provided for, are you still under obligation to pay such fees? Are they pro-rated? Spelling this out beforehand will save you in the long term.