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Important Questions to Ask Your Internet Provider

Posted by josh | September 5, 2019

What important questions should you ask your internet service provider?

  1. Is the advertised speed guaranteed?
  2. What is your SLA?
  3. Are there any data caps or restrictions?
  4. What are the different packages?


For most people, internet service providers or ISPs are a godsend. They enable your internet usage and are responsible for all that that entails. However, most people aren’t getting the full information regarding their deal off the bat, and that shouldn’t be the case. The best local internet provider should be able to communicate all the information to you, but that shouldn’t stop you from asking questions.

Whether or not you’re upgrading your current plan or switching to a different ISP, you should know the details regarding the package you’re getting to make sure you are getting the best deal and that the internet service provider is following through on their promises.

To help you in that regard, here are some important questions you should ask your internet provider.


Is the advertised speed guaranteed

Is the advertised speed guaranteed?

The very first thing you should be asking about when going into a deal with an ISP is “is the advertised speed guaranteed?” Countless people have fallen into a sort of advertising pitfall wherein they buy a plan boasting a high connection speed, but fail to reach that speed when they finally have it installed and are now using the service.

The current practice of ISPs is to market their broadband speed by saying that it can reach “up to XXMbps”. What most people don’t know is that the speed they are talking about is the highest speed of data transfer possible given that broadband plan. It is usually not the average day-to-day speed of the connection.

This is precisely the reason why you should ask if the advertised speed is guaranteed or if it’s only a potentiality that may or may not be realized given certain circumstances. To get a more realistic view of the kind of speed you should be expecting, you also need to ask your ISP what the average speed is of that specific broadband plan you are getting.

Actual speed depends on a wide range of issues such as distance from the local exchange carrier, to the number of people using a network. Which means you should almost always never believe in a high data speed plan unless proven otherwise.


What is your SLA?

What is your SLA?

Next up on the question list is “What is your SLA?” Service level agreements are an industry standard and it is important for you to know what its particular contents are. An SLA contains a company’s commitment to quality service and you should be aware of what they agree to do when there is downtime, high latency, and jitter. Take note of the specifics so that you can demand when the time comes that they are not fulfilling their commitments.


Are there any data caps or restrictions?

Are there any data caps or restrictions?

Next up are data caps and restrictions. Sometimes, ISPs don’t communicate this aspect to their clients, so you should take responsibility and ask them. Do you have data caps on your connection? What happens if you hit the barrier in the specified time period?

This is important to know because it will usually cost you so much more money down the line. When most people hit their max data cap and continue to use the internet service, they are charged with a higher rate. The notification for hitting the cap usually arrives late, so by the time you are aware of it, you will have already been charged exorbitant fees. It is also possible that they just block your connection from using more data, leaving you completely disconnected. Either way, you should be aware of what will happen so you can make provisions.

A workaround for data caps is by getting an uncapped plan, but that is a premium service and will also cost a fortune. Make sure to weigh your options and keep track of your data consumption.


What are the different packages?

What are the different packages?

When in the market for an internet service provider, knowledge of the different plans they are offering is also important. Sometimes marketers and agents don’t disclose all the available plans and suggest a high speed, high data plan which can cost a lot. Sure, it’s all well and good, but you have to know if you really need that much speed and data.

For example, having a business level broadband connection for a household of five might be a little too much given that you will probably not use it for business purposes. Gamers also don’t need that much if you really calculate their data needs. The most principled thing to do is to evaluate your needs first, and then ask your preferred ISP for their available plans. That would be the best time to make a purchasing decision.


Key Takeaway

The best local internet provider will have no issues with answering your questions. In fact, they should be able to provide most if not all the information right off the bat if they truly are the best. When in doubt, always take the initiative and ask first before signing or purchasing anything. This way, you prevent any form of lost resources whether in the form of money or data, and you get the right kind of internet for your needs.