3 Secrets of the Internet Service Industry

Tachus Community

    

June 10, 2022

What is transparent Internet service? Transparency is a word we use a lot at Tachus because it’s something we take seriously. The Internet is an essential resource.

That’s why providers should be honest and straightforward with their customers. If you want to test and see if your Internet provider is transparent, start by answering the following questions:

  • Does your provider charge you overages or throttle your speeds because you hit a data cap?
  • Do you speeds drop at 5:00 PM each evening like clockwork?
  • Do you have to call your provider and negotiate your price back down after it skyrockets?
  • Do you see extra fees on your bill that you don't understand?
  • Are you trying to switch providers, but can't because you're stuck in a contract?

If you said yes to any of the questions above, your ISP isn’t being fully transparent with you. Even the smartest Internet users have been duped by fine print, contracts with promotional pricing, and other tricks providers use to charge their customers more for what seems like a slower, less reliable service. How do they get away with it? Here are three hidden secrets Internet providers use.

1. Data Caps

Did you know that Houston is one of eight major cities in the United States in which Comcast, or Xfinity, and other providers use Some Internet providers are upfront about having data caps in their lower-priced plans—others are not. Don’t find out the hard way—learn if your provider uses a data limit right now.

We’ve put together a brief list of ISPs in Greater Houston who use data caps. Hopefully, this information helps you avoid overages or throttling each month.

Provider Type of Network Monthly Data Caps Overage Costs
AT&T DSL, Fixed Wireless, & Fiber1 350 GB – Unlimited1 $10 per 50 GB1
Comcast/Xfinity Cable2 1.2 TB – Unlimited2 $10 per 50 GB2
Suddenlink/Optimum Cable & Fiber3 250 GB – Unlimited3 $15 per 50 GB3
Viasat Satellite4 40 – 50 GB4 Throttled Speeds4
HughesNet Satellite5 40 – 50 GB5 Throttled Speeds5

Under Monthly Data Caps, we see that some providers can offer unlimited data usage—but only for customers on faster and more expensive plans, or for an extra monthly payment. Check your bill. How much extra are you paying each month to use more data?

Some providers offer unlimited data for customers who bundle their Internet and TV plans, which isn’t something everyone needs. If you only either watch local TV or stream, why sign up and pay for channels you don’t watch?

Whether they’re working from home, streaming, using security or smart home systems, or upgrading or adding to their devices, the average household uses a greater amount of data per month than ever. Unlimited data is becoming a necessity—customers shouldn’t have to pay more to use it. Not sure how close you are to hitting your data cap? Use a calculator to find out how much data your household uses each month.

2. Slowed or Throttled Speeds

Another sign that your provider isn’t properly supporting customers’ Internet use is frequently slowed speeds. How often are you not getting the speeds you’re paying for?

Your provider can throttle your Internet when their network becomes too crowded with other users—typically during peak hours like 3:00 PM or 5:00 PM. Do you experience this? If this happens to you, you’re likely using a provider that’s using bandwidth throttling to regulate.

Customers who frequently download or upload large files experience the brunt of Internet throttling, and often see the bandwidth they already paid for being restricted by their provider.

Not sure if you’re being throttled by your Internet provider? Run speed tests throughout the day. You’ll be surprised how different the speeds you’re getting are from the speeds listed on your bill.

3. Misleading Pricing

Service plans and pricing from an ISP can be misleading for a few reasons. A big one is the extra fees on your bill. Not only are several of these fees not even quoted to you when you’re researching Internet plans, but providers aren’t required to charge their customers these costs either.

That means you’re being surprised with extra fees that you shouldn’t have to pay. What are examples of these?

A common example is sales tax. In Texas, Internet providers aren’t required to collect a tax from customers. If yours charges you a tax, know that they don’t have to.

The same goes for state cost recovery and franchise fees. If you see either on your bill, it’s an extra fee not all providers charge.

Another example of misleading pricing is promotional rates that lure customers into contracts. Low prices during a one- or two-year contract is appealing, but can you expect an increase once that contract ends? Many providers list post-contract prices in their fine print, so find out yours before your contract is up.

Why Transparency Matters

You depend on the Internet to make a living, learn, communicate, and more. That’s why you deserve honest and straightforward service from your ISP. You don’t tolerate tricks from other utility providers, and you shouldn’t tolerate them from your Internet provider.

Interested in switching to a transparent provider that gives you the speed and reliability you paid for with unlimited data, lifetime pricing, and no contracts or extra fees? See if Tachus Fiber Internet is in your neighborhood and request service today!

Sources:

1. “Get home internet data usage info” AT&T, 2022, https://www.att.com/support/article/u-verse-high-speed-internet/KM1010099/ Accessed April 7 2022

2. “All Internet is powered by data” Comcast, 2022, https://www.xfinity.com/learn/internet-service/data/ Accessed April 7 2022

3. “Data Plans: Frequently Asked Questions” Suddenlink Communications, 2022, https://www.suddenlink.com/data-plans/ Accessed April 7 2022

4. “Your Guide to Understanding Viasat Data Plans, Data Limits and Plan Options” Viasat, https://help.viasat.com/s/article/Your-Guide-to-Understanding-Viasat-Data-Plans-Data-Limits-and-Plan-Options/, Accessed April 7 2022

5. “Unlimited Data – No Hard Data Limits Questions”, Hughes Network Systems, LLC, https://support.hughesnet.com/en/faq/internet/unlimited-data-no-hard-data-limits-questions/, Accessed April 7 2022

6. “Comcast Brings Back Data Caps, AT&T Extends Suspension”, 2020, Houston Chronicle, https://www.houstonchronicle.com/techburger/article/Comcast-brings-back-data-caps-AT-T-extends-15379189.php#:~:text=Both%20major%20home%20internet%20providers,of%20the%20previous%201%20terabyte./, Accessed April 7 2022

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