News Are you paying too much for internet service?
San Antonio – How much do you pay for Internet service? If you’ve searched for your bill and still can’t find the answer, you’re not alone.
“It’s important to know how much you’re paying for this so you can budget for this essential service on a monthly basis,” said Consumer Reports’ Jonathan Schwantes.
Consumer Reports spent more than eight months analyzing more than 22,000 Internet bills submitted by people from across the country. With so many charges and fees, it can prove challenging to determine the true price of the internet.
“A lot of consumers are bundling it with their TV or phone service. Some providers have separate Internet service offerings, but others don’t,” Schwantes said. “They have one price for the bundle and you can’t really see from that bill what part of the bundle pays for your broadband service.”
Industry group NCTA-Internet and Television Association disagreed and said, “Cable TV providers continue to provide consumers with transparent billing information on their websites and promotional materials.”
Consumer Reports also found that prices for Internet service vary widely.
“We found that people paying for sub-par broadband service, say download speeds of 5 to 10 megabits per second, paid on average the same as people who got 100 or 300 megabits per second,” Schwantes said.
Overall, Consumer Reports found that the average pre-discount price for Internet service ranges from less than $40 per month to more than $100. The median price of bills for which they can clearly determine Internet costs is $74.99.
Consumer Reports also found that costs are higher in areas with fewer suppliers competing for business.
How do you ensure you get the best price?
First, make sure you’re getting the speed you’re paying for. You can use an internet speed test on Ookla or M-Lab’s Speedtest.
Next, call your provider to find out what you’re actually paying each month, and start negotiating with your provider. Even if they don’t lower your payment, they might speed it up for you.
Rather than paying a monthly fee to rent a router, buy one.
And, some companies offer discounts if you sign up for paperless billing and autopay.
Through the Federal Affordable Connect program, eligible individuals can receive a $30 monthly discount.
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