If  you’re frustrated with your business’ internet service provider, you’re not alone. In 2015, nearly 4 out of 10 Americans were dissatisfied with their ISP, mainly due to lack of choice. In fact, you may not even know that you have a choice when it comes to who handles your company’s internet and VOIP needs. Too often, businesses are presented with a single option of ISP based on the location of their office, but this begs the question: do you select any other major service vendor this way?

You may have some nagging doubts about your own ISP. If you recognize your own experiences in the list below, it may be time to begin investigating other options for your business.

5. Their help desk isn’t helpful

This is the most common complaint in the industry. Connectivity goes down, and a call is placed- seemingly into a black hole. The representative on the other end of the phone is in an off-shored call center, with limited access to your account details, let alone visibility into your outage. Resolution can take days, and now you’re left with employees without access to email, business applications and data, or other critical systems.

The process seems designed to reduce cost for the ISP, with little thought given to your experience. You measure your other vendors and service providers by their ease-of-use metrics… why give ISPs a pass?

The bottom line is this: you come to the realization that all you bought is the stuff itself; not any actual service to speak of.

4. Selling you old stuff

Not only are they just selling you stuff, they’re selling you old stuff. Optical fiber networks have been deployed on a large scale since at least the 1970’s… yet we encounter enterprises all the time that are running on T1 or other copper networks. A 21st century enterprise, with all of its associated data and broadband needs, can’t function effectively on such an obsolete network. What gives?

The CTO of a prominent newswire service reached out to us recently. They repackage complex labor and employment data to pass along to their high frequency trader (HFT) clients. Yet these packets were being bottlenecked through a T1 connection which was the only option from the telco. When they found out that AiNET had low-latency fiber running into the building, they were ecstatic.

But the major regional telecom told them they were the only show in town. By limiting their options, their old ISP had literally cost them millions of dollars in lost revenue to competitors who could transmit the data faster.

3. Selling you slow stuff

Speaking of bottlenecks — when you buy into the idea that your current ISP is the only option available, you have no options. You may hear “the only network we have in your area is copper.” You may hear “we can’t provide you a dedicated network because that infrastructure isn’t in place.”

You wouldn’t accept limited options in any other service – you would find another provider! If your ISP isn’t offering you the network your business needs to succeed, it’s probably time to start shopping around. You’d be surprised at how many alternatives are out there.

2. Costs too much

This one should be self-explanatory, but there is more than meets the eye here. It comes down to choice. When the story is that the major regional ISP is the only option, prices seem fixed and will be high. You can’t negotiate the prices and services that meet your requirements. You get stuck paying a lot of money for little benefit to your business.

Knowing the alternatives gives you leverage to get optimal service and a better value from your ISP. And you never know … you might find a better product that meets your business needs and budget.

1. They act like they’re the only show in town

All the other problems stem from this one… major telecoms cultivate the image of regional monopoly in order to shoehorn clients into their own expensive business model. Aggressive marketing efforts have led many customers to believe there is only a single option in their region, and have converted connectivity into a commodity like gasoline or water, as opposed to the value-packed service offering it can be when matched effectively with your business needs.

If your ISP has presented you with any of the above problems, it’s time to begin searching for alternatives. As more businesses switch to smaller, more adaptable and responsive ISPs with faster networks, your market becomes more competitive. The large regional providers will have to step up their game or be swept away as better companies eat into their market share.

Like any unhealthy relationship, sometimes the best thing you can do is just say goodbye. Finding an ISP who can match their service offering to your business will positively impact your bottom line. Better than that… your employees, stakeholders and customers will thank you.


To learn more about how AiNET is supporting telecom choice in Washington, DC click here

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