Happy New Year! It’s a good day for looking back and in the broadband world, the topic of 2017 was Net Neutrality. Many are concerned that repeal of Net Neutrality will lead to higher prices for consumers and/or tiered pricing for premium content. Many providers say that they will continue to provide the same level of service they always have; nothing will change to the services or prices as a result of the repeal.
New Year is also a good time to look forward. Set goals. Assess. So I want to propose that instead of stepping on the dreaded scale to set goals – that we all check out broadband prices in our respective areas. That will set a benchmark for us to measure any impact of Net Neutrality.
I started by checking out services in my zip code. I found the list of providers on the Office of Broadband Development interactive broadband map. There are nine providers/services in my area:
- AT&T (Mobile)
- CenturyLink DSL
- CenturyLink (Fiber)
- Comcast (Cable)
- Hughes Net (Satellite)
- Sprint (Mobile)
- T-Mobile (Mobile)
- Verizon Wireless (Mobile)
- ViaSat (Satellite)
Telecom changes will only directly impact CenturyLink but I checked pricing for cable and satellite as well. While I know in some areas, people use mobile option for home access, that would be pretty rare in St Paul so I didn’t check those prices. (That being said, I have a mobile hotspot but not for primary home or business use.)
I tracked the info I could for each services based on information from the provider websites. So, if they didn’t specific up or download speed, I didn’t either. If they mentioned a restriction, so did I. I posted the best deal I could find with minimal research.
Here are the options for my address through CenturyLink:
For Internet Only:
- Gig – $85/month
- 100 Mbps – $65/month
- 40 Mbps – $55/month
Bundle of Internet, phone and TV (basic Prism)
- Gig – $194.99/month
- 100 Mbps – $174.99/month
- 40 Mbps – $164.99/month
Here are the options for my address through Comcast/Xfinity:
For Internet and TV (Channels – I chose fewest channels)
- 200 Mbps (down) – $69.99/month (with one year agreement)
- 100 Mbps (down) – $59.99/month (with one year agreement)
- 55 Mbps (down) – $49.99/month (with one year agreement)
Here are the options for my address through HughesNet:
- 25 Mbps for 50 GB data – $99.99/month (requires 2 year agreement; if you surpass 10 GB your connection speeds will be reduced)
- 25 Mbps for 30 GB data – $79.99/month (requires 2 year agreement; if you surpass 10 GB your connection speeds will be reduced)
- 25 Mbps for 20 GB data – $59.99/month (requires 2 year agreement; if you surpass 10 GB your connection speeds will be reduced)
- 25 Mbps for 10 GB data – $49.99/month (requires 2 year agreement; if you surpass 10 GB your connection speeds will be reduced)
Here are the options for my address through ViaSat/Exede
- 30 Mbps (down) for unlimited data – $150/month ($100/month for first 3 months)
- 25 Mbps (down) for unlimited data – $100/month ($70/month for first 3 months)
- 12 Mbps (down) for unlimited data – $70/month ($50/month for first 3 months)
- 12 Mbps (down) for 10 GB – $50/month ($30/month for first 3 months)
BUT on Unlimited service plans, after 150GB of data usage, they may prioritize your data behind other customers during network congestion.
If you want to check your own area and either send me your results firstname.lastname@example.org or post them in the comments below that would help create the larger benchmark. You don’t have to check all of the options in your area – just starting with your current provider would be great. Next year we can see how things compare.