7 Tips when Choosing a Broadband Provider

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If you’re looking to switch broadband supplier, there’s more to consider than just speed, data and price. Other factors can make or break your experience with a broadband supplier.

To help you avoid that ‘gotcha!’ moment, we’ve outlined the things you should look out for when choosing a broadband provider.

Before we get started on how to choose a good provider...

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Surprisingly, the first thing to check is something you’ll only experience if you become a customer of that provider: the customer support team.

Ways to Choose a Broadband Provider

1. How's their customer support?

To evaluate a broadband provider’s customer support, seek the advice of existing customers. Ask a neighbour, family member or a friend that has a service from them and ask about their experience. Neighbours are also helpful if you’re questioning 'is the broadband in my area what it should be?'

If you don’t personally know any existing customers, check online reviews. Reading company reviews on Google and social media platforms gives a sense of how much a broadband provider values its customer care.

2. How contactable are they?

How contactable are they? And we don't just mean the sales line. If you call the customer support team, how long does it take to speak to a human? If there's no one available to take the call, are you left waiting on hold indefinitely? This is an indicator of the service level you could expect when you're a customer of this provider.

The Aptus network is monitored 24/7 and our support team is available Mon-Fri from 9AM to 5:30PM. If you call outside of these hours, please leave a voicemail and we'll return your call ASAP.

3. How long is the contract?

Always assume there’s a contract with any internet service provider. Most providers will have a 12-month contract as standard, while others have 24-month contracts.

Also check what happens to your package after the contract term ends? Does the price stay the same or increase?

All Aptus contracts are for 12 months and are 'fixed price products' i.e. your price stays the same after your contract ends.

4. What are the extra fees & charges?

The headline price on the package is only the first of many price points. Here are some of the other potential costs you need to ask about:

  • What does the WiFi installation cost? Is there an activation fee?
  • Other fees, particularly relating to changes to your account. For example, to change a name or contact information could incur administration charges.
  • After the initial contract, what happens to the price? Many broadband companies increase the price even within the contract period, for example, after the first 6 months. Others increase the price after the contract.
5. What's the network contention ratio?

The ratio of contention is the number of other people on the same part of the network as you. In other words, it’s how many people you ‘contend’ with for the same high-speed internet.

For example, Aptus’ contention ratio is 12:1 for homes. This means the Aptus network does not allow more than 12 homes to 'contend' for the same data. Let's compare this with other networks, which are 300:1 or sometimes 1000:1. The Aptus contention ratio is very low. This ensures Aptus customers receive the high-speed internet they sign-up for.

It’s worth asking a broadband provider about the contention ratio of the network because it reflects the quality of the service received.

6. Is there a Fair Use Policy?

Is your data really unlimited? Or will you be charged ‘overage’ fees for using more data than you should? Most companies have a Fair Use policy. Read it to know exactly how the Fair Use policy works.

Aptus packages are subject to Fair usage policies. The particular policy depends on the package. However, Aptus customers on these packages will never receive a bill for more than the standard subscription amount, neither is the service cut-off for exceeding the Fair Use amount.

7. What kind of latency should you expect?

Latency is delay. It's the quality of the internet connection. 1Gb speeds are great but if your latency is high, you're unlikely to benefit from this. Aptus is proud to deliver one of the lowest latency rates in the broadband industry. See our blog about the top five tips for reducing latency.

Before you switch broadband, ask the right questions to find out how good that deal really is. Having trouble figuring out what speeds and data you require? We’ll recommend the right broadband package for you; try our free tool to see which broadband we recommend.


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