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How to Select the Right Internet Access Provider

Although you can easily shop around online, how do you know for sure you are choosing the right Internet service provider? Do they have a professional technical support team? Will they respond promptly when problems arise with your Internet service? These are important questions to ask when searching for a local Internet service. If you are searching for the right Internet service provider, here are some important points to consider.

Step 1: Find out who the local providers are.

You can find a local internet service provider for your home or business by asking family members, neighbors or by searching online. The key is finding a reliable service provider. If you search online, you can browse through your local Internet providers website and see what type of Internet service they offer. If they are local they are more likely to have an increase in support personnel and will more likely be able to respond to issues if they arise much quicker.

Step 2: Determine their network access ability.

Before choosing an Internet provider, make sure you ask about their network access ability. Do they offer Cable, DSL, T1, T3, Ethernet or Fiber Optics?

Step 3: Check the providers SLAs (Service Level Agreements).

A quality Internet service provider should be able to provide customers with a high level of performance and reliability. If you are looking for a reliable and fast internet connection it is a good idea to make it mandatory to require a SLA and avoid any company that does not offer an industry standard SLA because you could run the risk of experiencing slow speeds and frequent outages. These days businesses rely heavily on the internet for productivity and communications to sustain business and having downtime can cost you money.

Step 4: Check to see if they provide online tools.
As more people are working and using the Internet, companies are now utilizing online tools to measure the internet performance. Any legitimate Internet provider will use the Internet to help the consumer communicate with the provider and offer technology to help the user receive everything they can out of the service they provide. Common online tools are performance monitoring, web statistics, network ping systems, online ticketing systems and other network or web statistics.

Step 5: Beware of low pricing.

Often times many upstart Internet service providers will offer lower pricing than your local Internet provider. Unfortunately, many of these fly-by-night competitors have folded due to bad business practices. Remember, just because an Internet provider advertises the cheapest prices in the industry does not mean they provide the best value. Many people have been swindled over short-term bargains. The unfortunate consumer discovers few months down the line that their Internet service actually cost them more money. It is better to choose a provider who has been in business for 5+ years, has a good and diverse list of customers and offers competitive rates. At least you are guaranteed quality Internet service.

Step 6: Check their references.

Verify the Internet providers references before making a commitment. A legitimate service provider will have no problem offering their references to new customers. You can take it one step further and check the Better Business Bureau online to see if the company has any unresolved complaints from unsatisfied customers. You can also do a quick Google search of the Internet provider and see if there are any customer complaints or negative reviews posted on the web.

Step 7: Find out if they offer professional customer support?

Technical problems with an Internet service happen. Regardless of whether you have DSL, T1, T3, Ethernet or Fiber Optics, at some point in time you may be required to contact technical support. An Internet service provider should be able to offer their customers quality technical support for free. In addition, a provider should be able to offer their customers free email accounts as well. Every Internet provider should offer their customers a well-trained team of customer support representatives who are qualified to support the services the providers provide.

Step 8: Find out if they provide discounts and special promotions?

One benefit of being a new subscriber is that many local Internet access providers offer special promotions and discounts for first-time subscribers. Choose a couple of local Internet providers and compare the services they offer and see if they match with your needs. Then compare their rates before making a final decision.

In conclusion, a company that values their customers values their employees as well. They will provide their employees with proper training in order to handle customer inquiries in a professional manner. When searching for an Internet access provider, a good way to tell if you are choosing the right Internet company is to see if you have a good rapport with the representative when you first contact the company by phone.

The representative should not only be polite, they should also be able to answer your questions in a clear and concise manner. A sales team that is only interested in your sale and not willing to answer any of your questions in a polite and professional manner is an Internet service provider you should stay far away from.

As you can see, finding a good Internet access provider is not complicated after all.

Tony Williams is a business communications consultant and the president at Global IT Communications and InternetT1.com, a full service ISP (Internet Service Provider) specializing in Business Communications, Dedicated Internet Access and developing online business. Please visit their websites to learn more about how they can improve the growth and service of your business.