What makes a good ISP ?

Ok another subjective topic I know! but that question comes up regularly, and for you what does make a good ISP (Internet Service Provider) OK let me start with a little history from my experience with ISP’s …

The early days …

I first got myself connected to the Internet back in 1997, yes this was certainly the “Dial-up Days” and as two friends of mine where using a local Tasmanian company call Southern Internet Services (aka southcom) now I can’t recall the plans that were available at that time, but I used to use their pre-paid service where you purchased time by the hour. The rate was $2.50 ($AUD) per hour block and this suited me quite nicely in the early days as I could keep my usage in check and never had to worry about a large bill or worrying about going over any quotas! Around 2003/04 southcom were eventually bought out by a company called KeyPoint, for users of southcom, it was still business as usual just under a different name. The KeyPoint were bought out by yet another company called Eftel, it was at this stage the old southcom accounts were being phased out and the push was on to convert existing customers to plans instead of a pre-paid arrangement, also the company’s offices are based in Perth Western Australia and it was around this time I started looking into other ISP’s.

True discovery of Internet usage

So I started to ask myself  the question “What makes a good ISP?” and although I was certainly happy being a southcom customer, the service being provided was only simple (email & web access) after looking around at some of the competition, I soon realised that most ISP were offering some sort of “free to download” content, Now this is where things can get rather interesting! so of what benefit is free to download to the end user? well again depending on what you do this can vary greatly from person to person. My Internet usage was increasing and I was finding I was spending more time online so the pre-paid situation was now starting to cost more than a basic dial-up monthly plan so I decided to switch to Telstra BigPond as I could bundle and get my home phone & Internet access at a slightly cheaper rate (Dial-up access $24.95 per month $AUD) Now Bigpond do offer certain content from their website as free to download to their customers, they also have a download mirror where you can get software that counts toward “free to download” this was of use to me as around this time I was starting to get a little more experimental with both Internet applications and operating systems (namely Linux) In early 2007 Telstra had a big push to move people from dial-up accounts to Broadband, I was sweet talked to switch over and I was connected at 256/64Kb at a cost of $29.95 ($AUD) but this was discounted for the first 12 months because of taking up a new 2 year contract by bundling the home & mobile (cell) phones and Inter into one package, the discounted access for Internet was $14.95 ($AUD) with a 12GiB download quota and if you exceeded this your service was throttled to 64/64Kb but you were not penalised for excessive data as this was an “unlimited” plan.

Enter the breath of fresh air! …

Once the contract period expired with Telstra BigPond, again I was starting to notice that one company was offering a good deal that had me wanting to swap to them as soon as I could! this company name is Internode, Now what makes Internode stand out from the others? well for starters they offer better price point for end-users/businesses with a wide range of plans to suite your needs. their free to download content has to be one of the best on offer within the country! (no I’m not getting paid to say all this!) And recently Internode has been rolling out more ADSL2+ enabled exchanges making them also one of the largest to offer such speed. Even more recently with their announcement on entry pricing for the FTTH (Fibre To The Home) as part of the NBN (National Broadband Network) has many competitors lagging behind.

So have I answered my question?

Well I believe so…   😀

© 2010, Scott Evans. Creative Commons License
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