The speed of wireless connections is quickly catching up to cable speeds. Using your smartphone and a strong 4G connection, you can stream high-quality videos from wherever you are and not bother with a single cable, except maybe to a power outlet. It’s enough that you might start to wonder whether you should pay for a home internet connection at all, and even for business a smartphone or tablet computer can let you connect anywhere and do business anywhere.
However, most people switch to a local Wi-Fi connection when they can, both at home and when they’re out and about. The best internet provider around is still the one you get through a land connection, and that’s because data plans can get very expensive very quickly. And it’s not just from the obvious overuse charges: big telco companies will often add extra fees and charges to make their basic plan sound better than it is.
- Universal Service Fund fee. The federal Universal Service Fund subsidizes efforts to give everyone a cellphone, and the carriers are the ones who pay into that fund. They could add that to the price of doing business, but many companies pass the fee directly onto the customers.
- Regulatory fees. Like the Universal Service Fund fee, regulatory fees cover the costs telco companies have to pay to meet federal, state, and local regulations. Once again, the companies could absorb these costs, but then they’d have to increase the price they advertise.
- Taxes. Much like how most stores in America don’t list the price after sales tax, your data plan will list the taxes on telephone services separately.
Most landline internet providers charge a relatively large fee for using their services, but in exchange you get unlimited hours and download sizes, plus any number of people can use it so long as the bandwidth holds out. They really are the best internet provider when you need to use the internet, and that’s why people haven’t switched over to telco services instead.
On top of that, fiber connections are giving homes and businesses speeds of 1 gigabit per second and beyond. 5G networks promise to offer up to 10 gigabits, but that’s the top of the 5G range and we’re still years away from reaching it. Fiber internet is coming to cities right now, and land connections are still the go-to choice for best internet provider.