Having internet in your home these days is essential for the majority, but choosing which internet provider to go with can sometimes be a tough decision wrought with uncertainty. A good internet service provider (ISP) should communicate all the important information up front, so you can make an informed decision, but some may not and you need to know what to ask.
You might be installing internet into your home for the first time, you might be upgrading your current plan or you may be switching to a new ISP. Whichever category you fall into, it’s important you gather as much information as you can to get yourself the best deal for your needs.
Are the Internet Speeds Guaranteed?
A question you should ask your potential ISP is; ‘’is the advertised internet speed guaranteed?’’. Many companies will advertise their internet speed as being able to reach xxxbps, when in reality this is not the actual day to day speed. Ask what the average day to day speed is, to get a more realistic insight.
Are There Any Additional Fees After Installation?
While there will most likely be installation fees, if you don’t read the small print on the contract it’s likely there will be extra fees for cancellation of the contract, gateway costs or cross connect fees. It’s also a good idea to ask about repairs even when its within warranty – will there be a charge for someone to come out to your house? Many ISP companies will not be up front with many hidden fees, meaning it’s good to ask these questions so you know all the information up-front.
Do You Provide Spam Filtering and Access to Anti-Virus Software?
This is an important question to ask and could be the deciding factor on whether you go with a certain ISP. Do they take precautions to ensure your computer and files are protected? And, does this incur any extra cost to you?
What is Your Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
Every good ISP will have a service level agreement (SLA) and this basically means their commitment to a certain quality level. It should outline what you can expect from the company in regards to downtime, performance levels and latency. The Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) should also be included, outlining how long you should have to wait if something happens to their service. Having this in writing means if they don’t uphold their side of the agreement, you can ask for a refund on your payment.
What Different Packages Do You Offer?
When discussing the ISP options with an agent, they will not always disclose all the plans available but may steer you towards a higher end, more expensive package. Make sure you don’t just take the first plan they offer, ask them to explain all the different plans available, what they cost and what they offer. Also, a good agent should ask you your expected usage and help you decide on a package that fits your needs.