Low Cost Broadband Internet on Laptop

High-speed internet isn't usually cheap, which is why low cost broadband internet is something that a lot of people are looking for. If you keep your eyes open, you will notice that there are a lot of companies offering low cost broadband during promotional periods to draw you in. With a little bit of strategy, you can take advantage of these promotional periods to insure that you never have to pay a ton of money for high-speed internet ever again.

First, let's take a look at the high-speed internet options available to most people (depending on where you live):

  • Cable internet
  • Satellite internet
  • DSL internet
  • Fiber-optic internet
Within each of those types of internet service, there are usually at least a couple "major" companies who service most areas. For cable internet, the big names are Comcast, RCN, and others depending on your geographical regions. For satellite internet, there's Direct TV and Dish Network. For DSL internet, there's AT&T, and for fiber-optic internet, there's also AT&T (with their service called U-Verse). Each of these options presents an opportunity to obtain low cost broadband internet. To maintain your low cost broadband internet, there may be some strategies (described below) that you can utilize.

Strategy One: Low Cost Broadband with the "Service Jump"

The "service jump" takes advantage of the fact that almost all of these companies have a promotional period (usually six months) where they offer low cost broadband service. Sometimes, the discount can be significant (up to 50% off the normal service price).

The underlying idea of the "service jump" is that every time your promotional period is close to ending, you "jump" to another low cost broadband offering. For example: You currently have Comcast cable internet for a six month promotional period. One or two weeks before the promotional period ends, you arrange to have AT&T high-speed DSL set up at your home. Once that's set up, you cancel Comcast. Now, you take advantage of AT&T's low cost broadband internet for another six months before jumping to another service.

What's the drawback of doing this? First, it's inconvenient. You may need to wait on hold with your service provider, and you may experience down time if you don't properly plan when you quit one service and sign up for the next. This is one "price" that could come with trying to maintain low cost broadband services. Additionally, if you purchase bundles from these companies (which generally include TV and/or telephone services), you may experience down time in those services as well. You need to decide if you're willing to do all of this just to maintain low cost broadband internet.

Strategy Two: The Low Cost Broadband "Service Jump" Threat

This strategy is closely tied with the first one, except that this one does not require you to change low cost broadband providers at all! In this strategy, you call your low cost broadband service provider and threaten to quit your service if they don't meet the promotional pricing of another company that you plan to switch to. These companies generally don't want to lose you as a customer, even if it means bending to your wishes and extending the promotional period of your low cost broadband internet.

This sounds great, except it's not 100% effective like strategy one. First, and perhaps most the most obvious possibility, the low cost broadband provider will simply tell you that they cannot extend your promotional period. They may offer you additional services at discounted rates (for example, adding a movie package for 50% off or for three months free), but may not allow you continue receiving high-speed internet at a discounted price.

Second, the representative on the phone may tell you that they will give you a continued promotional period, until you discover one month later that it mysteriously was never applied to your account. Generally, you can call them and get it straightened out, but it's a very inconvenient process. They want to keep you happy, but happiness often comes at the price of inconvenience.

So What Do You Do?

At the end of the day, you need to make the decision. Which do you prefer: Smooth, uninterrupted internet service that eventually costs you more money, or low cost broadband internet that is inconvenient to maintain?

If you're living on a tight budget, it makes sense to spend a little bit of extra time to make sure you can have low cost broadband internet as long as possible. While it's not ideal to have to change services every six months or fight with your internet service provider on the phone, it's a small price to pay for potentially large savings.

Keep in mind that it couldn't hurt to try this one or twice. If you don't like the hassle, you can simply stick with whichever service you like best!