Sunday, 27 October 2013

What to look for in a broadband package.

Image by  apdk 
If you’re like most of the population who tends to pay the household bills by direct debit, you’re probably paying far more than you need to in order to get a decent internet connection, reasonable call costs and a great selection of TV channels coming into your home. We all tend to do things piecemeal and most of have a low tolerance for spending precious free time on tedious things like making sure we’re paying the best value on household bills. However, an hour or two’s research could save you a significant amount on an annual basis.
First off, if you’ve got two separate bills for your internet and phone connections, you’re almost definitely losing out on a saving. Add satellite TV to that list and you most definitely are. Most of us have twigged that the best deals around are those bundles that you can get from a wide selection of providers today, but that doesn’t mean we’ve got around to making the switch yet! The trouble is there’s always the feeling that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ but that loses weight when you realise you’re paying more than you should be.
With all the choice that’s available to consumers today, we’ve no excuse not to find the best deals. It’s easier than ever to see what the best deal is for you, thanks to the existence of so many comparison websites that give details on all the different suppliers in the Irish market.
Things to think about when considering a broadband, phone and TV bundle include:
Download limits
No-one wants to pay for what they don’t use, so it’s not always necessary to have unlimited broadband. If you’re only on the internet a few times a day and you don’t download much music or any films, then paying for unlimited broadband may be a waste of money. If, however, you are online 24/7 and love to stream movies and music, then the unlimited option is a good one. Some suppliers will include a fair usage policy, so check this out before you sign up. If you exceed the fair usage limit, you could find an extra charge tacked onto your bill.

Connection speed
You may not actually get the advertised connection speed you see on the marketing info for an internet provider. You can ask for a Sky Broadband speed test or similar from other suppliers to get an accurate estimate of what the actual download and upload speeds would be. This is especially relevant if you stream movies and music through streaming providers like Netflix or Spotify.

Contract length
Some contracts will tie you in for 18 months or more. If you’re not sure what your requirements will be for the next year and a half, you may be better off paying a monthly rolling contract instead. This way it’s easier to make changes when you want to make them, rather than feeling that you’re locked in.
Phone costs
Double check what calls will be included in your phone allowance. Some suppliers are more generous than others and you may find that one package suits you better than another; whether it’s free evening and weekend calls or an international call allowance.
TV channels
Prices will vary on bundles according to which TV channels you want to include. Find out whether you can make adjustments to the TV package mid-contract. It may be better to start off with fewer channels and then add in extra channels if you decide you want them at a later date.
Shopping around for a telecoms and internet bundle could reduce your costs significantly; just think how you could spend the money you save instead!