THE BROADBAND REPORT

The latest from the team at Broadband Now

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How to Choose Between Internet Service Providers

Consumer satisfaction with the broadband industry hit a seven-year low last year [1], leaving Internet users more confused than ever about how to choose an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Where do you even start? What are you comparing when you compare ISPs, and how do you decide which one is right for your needs? While 25 percent of US households still only have access to one provider [2], the rest of us have a laundry list of factors and features to consider before signing on the dotted line. Choice is a good thing, but you have to understand what you’re buying in order to get the best deal. Our goal in this post is to walk you through everything you… Continue reading →

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13 Creative Ways to save Money on Your Internet Bill

My neighbor and I have the same broadband plan. Same speeds, same caps, same disgruntled customer service reps. The only difference is that he pays $86 per month for it — while I only pay $47. Why am I paying half the price for the same service? In my case, it was just a question of negotiating with my provider — but there are plenty of other ways to cut your broadband bill. Depending on your situation, some of the strategies below could save you even more. Let’s start with the no-brainers then move on to more “creative” ideas. I guarantee some of them will be new to you. PS: if you find this list useful, send it to a… Continue reading →

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The best internet service & setup for serious gamers

You’re broadcasting a League of Legends marathon on Twitch and everything is going great: chat flowing in the sidebar; crystal-clear graphics on the stream. But then your Internet starts acting wonky. Everything feels delayed, like a long-distance phone call. Before you know it, you’re looking at this: Some Internet connections are better than others when it comes to gaming, and figuring out which you need and how to set it up isn’t exactly straightforward. In this post we’ll walk you through the factors to consider while choosing an Internet plan for serious gaming, and some tips for optimizing your network to get the most bang for your buck. Understand your Internet needs Gaming is a highly variable beast compared with… Continue reading →

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Apartment landlords are holding your Internet hostage.

Steep Internet bill and no choice? If you live in an apartment building, the landlord might be profiting from your plight. Exclusive broadband agreements between apartment building owners and broadband providers are common, leaving renters with no choice but to pay inflated costs for sub-par service — and rewarding landlords for keeping it that way. The existence of these exclusive arrangements is surprising for a simple reason: they were outlawed eight years ago[1]. So how are they getting away with it? Why are landlords getting such a big cut? And most importantly, what can renters do about it? How landlords get their cut of your broadband bill Before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlawed them in 2008, revenue shares and… Continue reading →

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How to Choose a Router and Secure Your Wireless Network

Routers are good at managing your network, but they’re not always so great at keeping it secure. While the latest high-end routers on the market have made huge leaps toward increasing bandwidth and optimizing Wi-Fi, the combination of bad firmware code coupled with poor manufacturer support leaves many consumer devices riddled with backdoors. [1] It’s easier than you might think for a hacker to work around your default security settings and create all sorts of mayhem. Long story short, it’s easier than you might think for a hacker to work around your default security settings and create all sorts of mayhem. Luckily, there are basic precautions you can take when purchasing and setting up a router to save yourself some… Continue reading →

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How Much Does Data Really Cost an ISP?

For consumers in the US, “unlimited” broadband data can be surprisingly expensive. Since the introduction of data caps, Internet subscribers have been frustrated by overage fees ranging anywhere from $0.20–$12 per gigabyte. The seemingly arbitrary fees are particularly frustrating since it’s unclear how much it actually costs an ISP to deliver that gigabyte. One thing’s for certain — it costs a lot less than the $0.20/GB fee charged by major ISPs like Comcast and AT&T. But how much does it actually cost the ISP to deliver 1GB to a customer? Calculations based on Internet transit costs, as detailed below, suggest an ISP cost per gigabyte well below $0.01. Using the $10/50GB overage fee quickly becoming standard for broadband caps as… Continue reading →

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How to Negotiate Your Internet Bill to Get the Best Deals

Found another fee increase when you opened your broadband bill this month? You’re not alone. The notoriously uncompetitive US broadband market has been driving prices up for years, while Internet costs elsewhere in the developed world have steadily fallen. A 25mb/s connection in New York currently costs nearly twice what they’re paying across the pond in London. [1] So. what can you do about it? Well, you can either shrug it off and keep mailing away your hard-earned dollars… …or you can get on the phone and start negotiating. Even in an uncompetitive marketplace, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) place a lot of value on you as a customer. And even if your provider can’t bundle or cut any services to… Continue reading →

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These 25 Cities Are the Most Impacted By the Digital Divide

If you think the digital divide is shrinking, don’t mention it to residents of Miami, Kansas City, or Buffalo — all cities listed on a recent NDIA report identifying the worst-connected cities nationwide. While politicians and ISPs have been tussling over how to close the digital divide for years, few cities have seen any improvement. The lack of affordable internet access remains a stark reality for millions of Americans. It’s not low connection rates that are troubling so much as the disparity between the haves and the have-nots in these cities. In the worst-connected city of Brownsville, TX, a little under half of households don’t have internet access; that’s for all income levels. For those households with incomes below $35,000… Continue reading →

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10 Small Towns with Blazing Fast Internet

For small towns, having high-speed Internet can be a critical factor in growth and prosperity. Studies have shown that increased Internet access has a positive effect on employment and economic growth in rural townships. [1] While major metro areas like Dallas and Providence languish at the bottom of the nationwide connectivity scale, surprisingly podunk towns make it to the top of the list. All of these best-connected small towns have one thing in common: the cutting-edge connection speeds and reasonable prices are delivered by small-to-medium sized ISPs. Clearly, small business and healthy competition alongside municipal broadband initiatives can create big rewards for both businesses and consumers. If you daydream of escaping the city smog to set up shop in a… Continue reading →

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Where the 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand on Broadband Issues

Consumers on both sides of the party line are eager to see reform when it comes to broadband policy. Internet issues like Net Neutrality and NSA surveillance have been hot topics throughout Barack Obama’s presidency, and whoever takes the White House next will have a huge effect on how those issues play out in the next four years. Unfortunately, public statements from the candidates on Internet issues have been opaque at best. Commentary on Net Neutrality hasn’t revealed much more about either party than a surprising lack of knowledge about the history of broadband regulation on both sides of the party line. This has scary implications for consumers, with American broadband connectivity falling behind that of other developed nations [1]… Continue reading →