With Knology’s arrival in both Auburn and Opelika, and Opelika’s new fiber network being installed, resident’s high speed internet options may be getting tougher to choose between. In order to attempt to help you sort out this situation, here are some things to remember that may help you make your choice.
1. Price. This is a big factor for most people when they choose who their Internet Service Providor (ISP) will be. The good new is, with more competition coming in, the prices for all competitors should be dropping. Don’t be afraid to shop for the lowest price, and don’t be afraid to negotiate either. Chances are at least one company really wants your business and is willing to make you a deal.
2. Speed. Don’t assume that just because one company claims they have the fastest internet, it means they really do. From what has been seem so far, Charter may indeed have the fastest possible speeds, but that may not mean they actually have the fastest speeds. Consider that their network is run over coaxial cables, while other networks are run over faster cables (such as Opelika’s new Fiber Network). What it really comes down to is doing a little research on each company, and figuring out which network will work the best for you.
3. Reliability. Faster speeds don’t mean much if the network is down most of the time. No matter who you talk to, you will also hear different stories about their experience with each company, but this is information you need to know. Talk to your neighbors especially and see who they use and what their experience is with that company. You can also talk to family/friends, and even look online at message boards and such. Choosing a company with a good history is a good way to have reliable service in the future.
4. Support. You may not think about this when you are making your initial purchase, but user support is essential with your ISP. Check to see how easy it is to get in touch with the company’s support group, and how responsive they are by once again asking around. You can also check the company’s website to see if they offer online support, or maybe even provide support over facebook or Twitter. You would be surprised as just how useful a twitter support person can be in a moment you least expect it.
So while many people may choose their service provider only for the speed, or because they offer the lowest price, you really need to consider all of these options and make a well informed decision. If not, you could be stuck with a service you are not happy with. Regardless of the past, Auburn/Opelika residents now have a much better selection of ISP’s and as such, you should do your homework, and make the best choice for you and your family.