Broadband Internet service has become commonplace across the United States. Whether it is a cable modem, dsl, satellite of some sort, or another kind of wireless high speed Internet access, increasing numbers of users are getting on the information superhighway with a Porsche instead of a moped.
A couple years back (but following my departure for school), I finally convinced my father to get a cable modem. My argument for it wasn’t just speed or the services that become accessible when one migrates (such as streaming media). It was in a large part based upon a monetary argument. It was cheaper to get a cable modem.
Well, that seems rather contradictory and wrong. You get more for less? What many people ignore are other costs involved with using a regular phone based modem. I am an Internet junkie (who me? couldn’t be. then who? yeah, I did it). I’d tie up the phone line for hours. What was and still is the answer for modem users? Get a separate phone line. This solution is very commonly used by modem users. It cost around $35 a month to have a second phone line in our house. Add in the cost of the service ($10), and we’re up to $45. The cost of high speed internet is $30 for DSL or cable (although, that price for DSL is contigent upon having at least one phone line in service and subscribing to some other services). High end cable costs $40. It’s cheaper and faster to have broadband.
Obviously, this isn’t the four fold speed increase I speak of. That was ten fold increase at the time. Well, up until last night, my family’s cable service was 768 Kbps. No slouch to be sure, but not nearly as fast as the 3 Mbps connection my brother had at his new apartment. I wanted the best on the block too. I looked at Charter’s web site and found that 3 Mbps service was available at our house for $40. I then examined our last bill and found out we were paying the exact same rate for 768 Kbps. This naturally prompted a phone call and within minutes, I was surfing at four times the speed.
What’s the lesson to be learned here? If you don’t have broadband service and it’s availble in your area, consider it. It may not be as expensive as you think. If you already have broadband, check with your supplier to see if speeds and costs have changed. If you currently don’t have high end access, see if you can upgrade for free. You might assume that your supplier would automatically upgrade you, but this isn’t necessarily the case.