September 16, 2014 Jessica Sims
How to Switch High Speed Internet Providers

How to Switch High Speed Internet Providers

It is only a matter of time before consumers realize that their current broadband plan may not be all that they had hoped for, and start looking for something better.  While 2 Mbps download speeds might have been top of the line performance a few short years ago, competition has raised the bar a great deal.  Not only are telecoms competing with cable companies to provide broadband access to consumers, many telecoms are now in the business of offering digital cable services and many cable companies have added digital telephone services to level the playing field.  Wireless broadband providers and even a few organizations offering 100% fiber optical services also add to the competition, and the results are twofold.

First, speed increases happen at a pace that anyone who ever connected to the Internet via an analog modem will probably find nothing short of astonishing.  Secondly, so many companies are offerings broadband services that it can be overwhelming to consumers, especially those who already have broadband access of some kind.

Is It Time To Switch Providers?

There are at least 2 significant reasons to switch high speed internet providers: faster data access and better deals.  While anyone who is even remotely acquainted with technology of any kind knows that incremental improvements happen all the time.  This means that consumer who purchase a high performance broadband service will invariably find their service to be somewhat slow at some point in the future, at least when compared to newer and faster technologies.  Consider trying to use YouTube in HD or upload a few hundred high-res photos to a Flickr account on a once-fast 256K ADSL account and the point is crystal clear: broadband technology marches on constantly and sometimes switching broadband service providers is the best or only way to get the best service at a great price.

Rule #1: Bundle Up And Save Big!

On the subject of getting the best price, one would be well advised to look at their needs and wants before deciding whether a change in providers is worth it.  Consumers who use one provider for their telephone service, another for their broadband access, and yet a third for their digital cable needs will likely discover that they can save a great deal of money by opting to have all three of those services provided by the same company.  In some cases, such as certain regions serviced by Verizon and/or AT&T, it is possible to also bundle mobile phone service to further increase savings.  So, before switching keep this simple rule in mind: bundling is good, so avoid broadband-tunnel vision at all costs.

Rule #2: Read The Fine Print

The last step before actually taking any real action is to understand the ramification of such a change.  If any existing contracts are in place, there may be early termination penalties and/or other charges worth investigating.  A switch to a new provider may not be such a bargain if a once-free router now needs to be paid for, or a significant penalty is incurred.  Reading contracts and service agreements is the best way to understand the ramifications of a switch, but contacting the billing department might also be advisable.

Rule #3: Changing Technologies Is Often Easiest

Going from DSL to cable or a fiber optic solution, such as Verizon’s Fios, can often be easier than changing from one DSL provider to another or from one cable provider to another.  The problem with switching between providers that use the same underlying wiring technologies is that there may be a significant lapse between the canceling of one service and the start of another.  It is always wise to have a contingency plan in place, but such plans are rarely needed when changing between one technology type and another, such as DSL to cable, or cable to fiber.

Get Started!

Once all the background research and assessments is complete, it is time to call the sales and service offices of the company currently providing broadband services and the company one wishes to use in the future for broadband services.  It is probably best to call one’s existing provider first, as they are likely to offer a good deal in am attempt to retain business, and keeping as many options on the table as possible is usually a wise thing.  From this point, the steps required will vary depending on the situation, however the staff at the outgoing and incoming providers should serve as a decent guide so long as one keeps their goal in mind: better service and or a better deal.  Do not get roped into buying far more than necessary only because it seems like a great deal.

Last, but certainly not least, enjoy the new broadband service and any services that may be bundled with it!  After all, why take the time to make the switch at all without remembering to enjoy it thoroughly?

3 comments on “How to Switch High Speed Internet Providers”

  1. Thomas @ Satellite TV says:

    Nice and interesting blog. Yes, today is the world for speed. Many broadband provider are trying their best to provide more speed to their customers. Today internet is also necessary in each and every field. So, where ever we go we always keep on touch with the internet. We can even watch the online satellite TV in own own PC now which comes in HD picture. So, it is very essential to have a high speed internet. Moreover, while deciding to make a connection is better to choose the broad band service provider that gives better service and a better deal.

  2. Chad says:

    I completely agree. I wish that there were better metrics available for customer service! The problem with gauging customer service, at least as I see it, is that it is really only done in two ways:
    1) Mystery callers/shoppers
    2) Surveys
    Mystery shoppers come with their own set of problems, but it would seem unreasonable to judge a company by a small sample of their customer service. Surveys tend to be problematic because people are more fond of complaining and critiquing than they are of looking at the situation from all points of view and offering praise where praise is truly due. Instead, they tend to see their problems only and complain accordingly.

    I’m really hoping that the television and digital devices continue to converge. Some of Verizon’s Fios ideas are amazing, and U-verse is certainly in the same boat. The days of just sitting down and zoning out may be history, and IP TV-powered news feeds and other interactive features are the future. We’re only scraping the surface right now!


  3. Dave says:

    Speed is what everyone is looking for. Having started out on dial up many years ago and then moving to cable when it became available I may appreciate the speed we have now more than those who grew up with cable internet. I am looking forward to upgrading to fiber if it ever becomes available at my location. One thing I would recommend based on my experience is not use the free email provided by the ISPs. I did this when I first got cable internet. The email worked well, but when I had to move I couldn’t take my email with me and it was a real pain switching everything over to a new email account. (Some of them do let you keep your email for a monthly fee now, but it can be quite steep.) I now use a domain based email plan from Internetdirectsolutions which costs about as much as a day’s worth of coffee and makes life a lot easier as I will never have to update my email address again forever.

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