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How Much Does Internet Access Cost The Consumer?

Many internet providers base their plans on your local region. Your best option, based on availability, might be provided by cable broadband, through phone lines, by satellite or wireless. Plans, data transfer rates and the price you end up paying will vary per area.

Look for the IP's also to offer spyware/virus protection and place limits on the maximum number of email accounts, possibly even the amount of data associated with the plan (typically mobile plans).

Broadband / Broadband Power Line (BPL)

Comcast - offers plans for 20 mbsp costing $29.99 a month (for initial 6 months). Their 'Blast' at 50 mbsp is at $72.95 monthly. Their 'Extreme 105' which is to 105 mbps is $114.95 monthly.

Cox - this provider has two low cost introductory programs competitively priced at $19.99 per month (after 6 mo. starter period continuing at $53.99 OR $39.99 for 15mbps/3 mbps download and upload at 2 mbps/384 kbps respectively - so this stated performance ranges greatly by plan). Their high speed package priced at $44.99 after 3 months continues at $64.99 with a download at 30mbps.

Time Warner - provides a standard plan at $34.95 for up to 10 mbps, and a 'Turbo' choice at $44.95 per month for up to 20 mbps. Both paid at 12 months cycles.

Satellite Access

Though noticeably slower than a broadband connection, satellite is often the choice where no broadband options exist through cables or dialup is the only other option. Mating with a satellite provider involves the mounting of a satellite dish and customers experience paying:

Starband - also servicing Alaska and Hawaii, they offer a starter package for a $49.99 basic monthy fee which gives 512 kbps download speed and upload at 100 kbsp. Or 1 mbsp download and 128 kbsp upload at $69.99. Lastly, 1.5 mbsp at $99.99 with 256 kbsp upload at $99.99. Starband has offered a 0$ install with $150 rebate.

HughesNet - also presented through Dish Network - offers a $49.99 per month (possibly $39.99 with promotions) and a $9.99 dish equipment lease fee (or buy it at $199) for download speed at 1.0 mbps and upload 200 kbps. To bump the data transfer to 1.5 mbps down and 250 kbps up it will mean paying $79.99 a month. Maxing out at 2.0 mbps down and 300 kbps up will run $109.99. HughesNet does impose data limits for 24 hour periods on the plans.


Sent through the phone line, DSL normally means download speeds of 2 mbps to 7 mbps. Although some plans and services clock above.

AT&T DSL - brings stand alone DSL for $19.95 basic sending up to 768Kbps download/384Kbps upload speed (over 6 months). They also offer the 'Elite' at 6mbps download/768 upload for $34.95 (again 6 months).

CenturyLink DSL - supplies one main plan, the 'Pure Broadband' for up to 10 mbps download and 2 mbps upload for $59.99 mo. The company offers up to 40 mbps although this is for Las Vegas areas alone and is $89.95.

Verizon DSL - puts out a $19.99 starter plan for speeds up to 1/2 to 1 mbps, and a $29.99 plan for 1.1 mbps to 15 mbps.

Dialup Connection

Requries an existing landline phone connection.

NetZero - provides dialup access to the internet beginning at $9.95 per month for speeds to 56 kbsp. For $14.95 they accelerate certain types of data - namely graphics, html and email (excludes streaming files, ssl pages, digital photos and attachments).

Earthlink - promotes a $9.95 a month plan with no contract but this is only the first three months, for which you will pay $21.95 after this period. Speed is 56 kbps. Their $14.95 plan has a one year obligation and this costlier plan offers no speed advantage but the first 30 days is not charged for.

Wireless/Mobile Broadband

A broadband connection does require a portable wireless modem capable of interacting with the provider.

Cricket - their options for mobile wireless broadband include a 'Light' plan, giving 2 gb "best" speed at $30, 4gb "best speed" at $45 and 8gb "best speed" for $65. All with download rates to 1.4 mbps.

NetZero - offers 4g mobile broadband beginning at $9.95 per month having 500 mg monthly data. Other monthly based plans include $19.95 for 1,000 mb data, $34.95 for 2,000mb data, or $49.95 for 4,000 mb data. All at 4g speed.

T-Mobile - offers "overage free" plans however once certain data levels are attained, speeds are reduced. Their plans start at $39.99 for 2gb, going to $79.99 for 10gb. T-Mbile also offers shorter term "passes" that provide access from 7 days to 30 days, ranging from $15.00 to $50.00.

Sprint - brings broad network advantages with $49.99 for 3G/4G (6BG data) or $79.99 for 3G/4G (12 GB data).

Related Fees

Seperate from the amount for the monthly plan, other fees incurred besides installation, which might be waived with a special promotion, might include:
  • activation fees
  • early termination fees
  • cost for modem/router or its lease
  • excess usage/data fees
  • price increase upon promotional period expiration
It is generally a wise idea to check actual speeds experienced with a speed checker and verify transfer rates for yourself, and hopefully there is a 30 day trial period to become better acquainted. Just for example, many DSL plan representatives claim their DSL to be of speed which is competitive with broadband, but in actuality it is not.

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