These days, internet access is a necessity. In the pandemic, everyone was online to order groceries, work from home, and go to school online.
The one thing that was apparent was that we’re facing an affordability crisis. That’s because high-speed internet is expensive in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world. America ranks 119th of 206 countries, with an average bill of $50.
That’s not going to change anytime soon. You can’t just cut the cord the same way you can with your cable company. You either have to find ways to lower your internet bill or pay a very high bill.
Don’t fret because we’re going to show you what you need to do to get that lower internet bill with the right internet service provider (ISP).
Are you ready to learn how to do it?
Let’s get to it!
1. Your Internet Needs
You might be paying for too much broadband. Look at how you use the internet and how many devices are connected at the same time.
If you live alone and connect a few devices at the same time, you should be fine with 30Mpbs. That’s plenty for streaming, gaming, music, and browsing.
On the other hand, a full house of people and devices demands much more. You might want to invest in fiber optic internet to get more bandwidth so everyone can stream at the same time.
2. Look at Your Last Internet Bill
If you’re like most people, you don’t look at your internet bill. That’s because internet service providers encourage customers to use automatic withdrawal and electronic billing.
Do you know what you’re paying for? Probably not. This is the time to take the mystery out of this expense. You’ll be able to see what you’re really spending and for what.
Your internet bill will have a number of line items. There’s an equipment rental fee if you use the ISP’s router and modem. There are other taxes and fees, most of which you can’t do anything about.
Look at your internet package itself. It should say what your bandwidth is and how much you pay for that package.
Some providers also have data caps. Look at this carefully because if you exceed your data limits, you’ll see a number of extra charges on your bill.
3. Test Your Internet Speeds
Now that you looked at your internet bill, you should know how much speed your internet actually delivers. Be prepared to discover that you’re likely getting less than what you’re paying for.
You want to run a few internet tests on different devices. Use speedtest.net or the ISP’s internet speed testing site.
Your bill says that you’re paying for 100 Mbps, but the reality is that you’re likely seeing half of those speeds. That’s because you have a wireless router that filters the signal from your modem to your wireless devices.
Connect a computer to your router via ethernet cable. Run the tests again. You’ll be able to get a more accurate assessment of your internet speeds.
You can take the test a step further to see if there are variations at different times of the day. Keep a record of your tests and internet speeds. You can take this to your ISP to negotiate a better deal.
4. Find Promotions in Your Area
There may be very few internet service providers in your area, but they are competitive. They often run promotions to get you to switch providers.
Check your current ISP contract to see if you’re under a special promotional plan. Many ISPs give you a discount for 12 months, but charge the full rate for another year. They charge a penalty fee if you change companies.
5. Bundle Services
Most high-speed internet companies offer so much more than just an internet connection. You can often get phone and cable TV through a singular provider.
At the very least, phone and internet are bundled together at a discount. A great example of a bundle is Windstream Internet Service.
These discounts are usually for new customers, but most companies will let you bundle your services to keep you as a customer.
Like with other promotions, you have to be aware of when the promotional discounts end, and what the full price is.
6. Contact Your ISP
If you find it too painful to research ISPs in your area and sign up with a new provider, you can contact your current ISP to lower your bill.
If the ISP has great customer service, they’re flexible. Their interest is to keep you as a customer, so they might be able to roll your account into another promotional program.
7. Sign Up for Government Programs
The pandemic caused a lot of financial upheaval for so many families. State and federal governments responded with a number of ways to help people get through difficult times.
The media did a great job covering stimulus checks and small business loans. Did you know that there are programs for high-speed internet bills?
If you qualify as a low-income household, you can get $50 off of your internet bill through the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. It’s a program run by the FCC to help people get access to the internet.
If you qualify for this program, you may get a $100 subsidy towards the purchase of a new computer or tablet.
A separate program called the Lifeline benefit can reduce your phone and internet bill by $10 a month.
Lower Your High-Speed Internet Bill
You have to save money in every possible area of your life to meet your financial goals. High-speed internet often costs a lot more than it should, and you can lower your internet bill.
You need to analyze what your current internet needs and speeds are. Look at promotions in your area and see what your current service provider can do for you. If you meet resistance, it might be time for a new ISP.
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll like the other financial and lifestyle articles on this site. Check them out today!