If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about the importance of high-speed internet. You know first-hand how essential internet is to your daily life — in some ways it’s just as necessary as water and electricity. Whether we are looking for news updates, searching for information or trying to buy something quickly, it’s clear we would have a hard time getting by without high-speed internet. It’s become so commonplace, many of us take it for granted, but there are 163 million Americans who aren’t using the internet at minimum broadband speeds and many lack access to it completely because they either can’t afford it or live in remote areas where they don’t have any providers. It’s become such a big issue, even the presidential candidates are talking about it!
What’s the problem?
Companies that provide high-speed internet regularly overcharge for this basic necessity and profit significantly from everyone who uses it. In fact, Verizon made over $45 billion in profit while Comcast made more than $34 billion. And while AT&T is cutting jobs, their CEO made $29 million last year. There is little regulation on pricing and providers have few competitors, so it’s very difficult for consumers to find cheaper options. Currently, only 54% of households with incomes of below $20,000 have home internet, compared to almost 90% of households with incomes of above $100,000. If the government were to take control of pricing in the same way utilities like heat and electricity are managed, providers would be forced to offer a basic quality broadband plan to all at an affordable price even in rural areas that don’t currently have it.
What can you do about it?
While this proposal sounds great, change doesn’t happen overnight. Yet there are things you can do right now to try to lower your internet bills.
- Research: It’s a well-known fact that only new customers get the better deals. Do a little research to find out what your provider is doing to attract new customers and see what its competitors are offering.
- Negotiate: Contact your provider to try to negotiate a rate similar to what’s being provided to new customers and hopefully they will give you a cheaper plan in an effort to keep you.
- Repeat: Unfortunately, being successful at reducing your bill doesn’t mean you can sit back and cross this off your to-do list forever. Companies are always devising ways to get new users, which means your reduced rate can become an overpayment in a matter of months.
- Call Billshark: If you don’t want to be bothered with all of the above — and let’s face it, it’s a lot of work, a lot of waiting on hold and a lot of confrontation — let Billshark handle it for you. We are expert researchers and expert negotiators because we do this all day long. We have an excellent track record for being tough, finding the best deals, and negotiating the lowest possible rate for you. The best part is, you don’t pay us a dime until we save you money.