In the Internet age, you cannot do without an ISP, which provides Internet connectivity as its primary service offering. An ISP works with you in return for a monthly fee or subscription and might also offer several related services. Certain Internet Service Provider’s also operate on the community service plane, providing volunteer services.
In the United States, broadband connectivity is extended through national operators including Comcast, Time Warner, and AT&T. Europe’s largest ISPs include Deutsche Telecom, Orange, Vodafone and Sky Broadband. Internet subscribers in China mainly rely on significant players in the region including China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom. In India, Sify is a major brand operating in the ISP space.
Services Provided by ISPs
ISPs, formerly known as WISPs (Wireless Internet Service Providers) currently offer a range of services based on the requirements of users operating through a multitude of platforms:
- An Internet Service Provider provides Internet access through either a DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), a fiber optic channel or a cable modem.
- In order cater to the requirements of mobile users, ISP offers mobile broadband plans.
- Businesses can set up Wi-Fi hotspots or take advantage of business-oriented DSL plans in co-operation with an ISP.
- Internet Service Providers also offer ancillary services in the form email, software, and hosting services.
Key Considerations When Choosing an ISP
Customers often face many dilemmas related to subscription fees, connection quality, customer service and quality of connectivity when it comes to setting up an agreement with an Internet Service Provider.
Whether you are home or business consumer, you are required to subscribe to a suitable plan offered by an ISP. An ISP might offer a single service or several tiers of services. Further, different plans feature different connection speeds and combine one or more offers among Internet, telephone, and television in a single package.
Before subscribing to a plan available with an Internet Service Provider, the following factors must be taken into consideration:
- What is Period of your Contract with your ISP? – You might subscribe for a month or six months, one year or even more. Depending on the period of your subscription, you might be eligible for a discounted fee. Sometimes, your first subscription might also qualify you for a discount
- Does Your Chosen ISP Deliver the Promised Speed? – Many Internet Providers might provide speeds that are considerably lower than their promised ratings. Therefore it is an excellent area to research before choosing an ISP to avoid unpleasant surprises with performance considerations in the long run
- How Reliable is the Internet Service Provider You are About to Engage With? – Certain Internet Service Providers (ISPs) suffer from performance issues and considerable downtime. Before choosing your Internet Service Provider, you must accomplish proper research regarding their service delivery and make sure they have a responsive customer support system
Given these critical considerations, your choice of ISP must be based on good mapping with your requirement as well as close compliance with the above key factors that make up for a good service offering.