For Verizon customers, 1-gigabit service for $70 per month sounds so good. But it may not be the service of your dreams. There’s a lot going on here, so let’s try to sort it out.
First, the initial offer is for new customers only. That shouldn’t surprise any consumers for anything we buy. Businesses routinely offer deep discounts to get new customers in the fold, and it can have one of two effects: 1.) it can upset existing customers and encourage them to churn through all their service providers, and 2.) it can be an attractive sample to get customers addicted to a certain level of service and immune to steep price increases later on.
For new customers looking to sign up, it’s not simply a matter of paying your $70 and getting a fast internet connection. There may be additional fees and required equipment upgrades (we’ll get to those shortly) on top of the initial fee, and there is a lot of confusion about how long you can keep the introductory rate before you get a big price increase. Verizon may be offering 1-gig service to existing customers as you read this newsletter, but we haven’t seen a clear description of prices for various packages as we write it.
Second, do you need that big a pipeline? Most of us don’t. Large online stores that sell lots of things through ecommerce are likely to need it. Businesses that send massive amounts of data through business applications, such as enterprise systems for huge, highly automated manufacturing systems, need it. Big, upscale hotels that offer streaming capability for their guests need it. Smaller businesses that push less data through their applications and home users who stream movies and TV programming probably don’t need it. Netflix, for example, recommends the following download speed in megabits per second (MBPS) per stream for playing TV shows and movies through its service:
- 0.5 required broadband connection speed
- 1.5 recommended broadband connection speed
- 3.0 recommended for SD quality
- 5.0 recommended for HD quality
- 25 recommended for Ultra HD quality
Do your own math for what you need.
Third, do you have a wired network in place to use all that speed? Only a wired network can do it, and that’s why we recommend wiring office and commercial space for business. We also recommend it for new residential construction, and we recommend it if you are building a theater in your home for a big Ultra HD system. If you have devices connected to your gateway or router, you’ll get the connection speed. Any devices connected through Wi-Fi will get a slower speed, which can still be adequate based on Netflix’s recommendations.
Fourth, you won’t get gig-per-gig speed from the source. If Netflix recommends 25 MBPS for Ultra HD quality, they’re not pushing it out at 1 gig. The big businesses that need to get their data pushed out at that high a speed take advantage of a limited number of pipelines, and they pay for it.
Finally, how will you match your service to the router and cable boxes from your internet service provider (ISP), whether it’s Verizon or Comcast, and what are you willing to pay? Streaming aside, you can pay a hefty monthly fee for cable boxes capable of delivering programming and recorded shows to multiple TVs in your home. You can reduce your monthly outlay by replacing the cable boxes with a cable card that can work with four or six TVs, depending on the card. You’ll give up On Demand programming and on-screen caller ID (if you have a landline through your provider), but that may better fit your needs.
We can review your internet-connection needs for business or home and help you match equipment options to fit your budget. We can do the installation and setup – or walk you through the process and then use remote technology to help you with the setup. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us for an appointment.