Finding the right Internet Service Provider, or ISP, doesn’t seem as though it should be all that difficult. The pipe leading to the Internet shouldn’t be all that different from ISP to ISP after all.
Yet as anyone who has spent any time doing price comparisons for high-speed Internet service knows, Internet service prices and contacts are far from the same from provider to provider. It’s important to understand all of your options when it comes to Internet service.
Free Internet Options
Wi-Fi hotspots are continuing to grow in popularity and in availability. It’s not difficult to find restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, and other areas where people tend to gather and stay for several minutes.
Municipal hotspots are another option, as city-sponsored Wi-Fi networks typically provide free wireless Internet access to residents and visitors in particular areas of the city. Sports teams also are expanding their Wi-Fi offerings inside arenas and stadiums, catering to their fans who want to use smartphones during games. Some examples of recently announced successful projects include:
- Bay Area, Calif. San Jose, San Francisco, and Santa Clara all are offering recently upgraded free public Wi-Fi networks in various portions of the Bay Area.
- Dallas. The arena that’s home to the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, which was one of the most wired arenas in the world at the time of its construction more than a decade ago, recently underwent a massive upgrade of its Wi-Fi system.
- Lincoln, Neb. The University of Nebraska unveiled a new Wi-Fi system in Memorial Stadium in 2014, offering free service to 90,000-plus football fans.
- Mountain View, Calif. The home of Google’s headquarters will have a free high-speed network sponsored by Google. This is a redesign of one of the first free municipal Wi-Fi networks in the United States, initially created in 2006.
- New York City. The city will be adding Wi-Fi portals to existing pay telephone booths, expanding New York City’s municipal Wi-Fi system.
Municipal Wi-Fi Network Failures
Free public municipal Wi-Fi networks have had a mixed history of success over the years. A variety of failures have plagued such networks over the years, as well as an inability to keep up with the latest technological breakthroughs, which makes it tough for residents to rely on such networks for their only Internet service offering.
Instead, most people are apt to be among the 70% of American adults who have high-speed Internet service in their homes. And most of those networks include a wireless router/modem combination, giving people Wi-Fi access at home.
Finding the Best Wi-Fi Prices
As you’re shopping around to find the best Internet service to meet your needs, it pays to understand a couple of things. Internet service costs and maximum download speeds vary greatly from city to city and region to region in the United States. Some of the best deals you’ll find include the following areas:
- Austin, Texas. $39.99 for 60 megabits per second maximum download speed.
- Bristol, Va. $30.99 for 30 megabits per second.
- Kansas City, Kan. $34.95 for 15 megabits per second.
- New York City. $34.99 for 50 megabits per second.
- San Francisco. $37.50 for 100 megabits per second.
With this in mind, you’ll reap the benefits of shopping around to find the best ISP for your situation. Read through the included infographic to learn some Internet service statistics regarding ISPs in the United States and around the world to help you find a good deal!
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.