Fees for internet service can vary greatly based on factors such as speed and what’s offered by a particular provider. But it’s still possible to find a good deal based on what you need and what works for your budget. Just know that the initial price listed for internet service that appeals to on a website or ad you see may not be the final price you end up paying. Be better prepared as you decide what’s right for you by taking a moment to understand additional fees your internet service provider may charge.
The most common fee related to equipment rental for internet service is for the modem and router. Typically, the rental fee is fairly reasonable and somewhere within the $10-20 range. With higher-tiered plans or bundled services, modem/router rental may be included. One of the perks with rental equipment is that some internet providers upgrade equipment when it’s necessary to do so free of charge.
Installation and Activation Fees
The positive side with installation and activation fees – it’s not always both, but it could be with some providers – is that these are one-time charges. Still, these fees are sometimes $100 or more in total in addition to what’s standard for your basic internet bill. Avoid being surprised by fees of this nature when you get your first bill by asking ahead of time if there’s an installation and/or activation fee.
Service Fund Fee
This is a fee imposed quarterly by the Federal Communications Communication (FCC). It’s used to help with access to broadband internet service for people in low-income and rural areas. While this quarterly fee is charged to providers, some of them pass it along to customers. The good news is this fee is usually around $5, so it’s not too excessive.
Late Payment Fees
Fees for making your payment late vary by state and by provider. Some service providers charge flat fees while others assess a portion of your regular monthly internet service fee. Also, if your service is cut off for lack of payment, you may have to pay a fee to have it reconnected or reactivated.
Cancellation Fees (If You Have a Contract)
Early termination fees are assessed by some providers if you cancel your service before your subscription officially ends. This fee is sometimes assessed based on how many months are left with your subscription. In some instances, it could end up being fairly significant.
Fees for Exceeding Data Usage
Some providers have limits on data usage. This may also be the case with lower-priced service plan options. Typically, if data usage is exceeded by 50 GB, the extra charge is $10, although this fee can vary to some extent if it’s assessed.
What Can You Do to Minimize Additional Fees?
With equipment rental fees, you may be able to avoid such charges altogether if you use your own modem. However, not all service providers allow customers to use their own equipment. If this is what you prefer to do, look for a provider that gives you this option so you can avoid this fee. Other ways to minimize or avoid additional fees include:
• Looking for providers that waive installation/activation fees with certain packages like internet with streaming services and phone included or internet plans.
• Paying your bill on time – or setting up automatic payments so you don’t forget
• Knowing contract terms before you sign up – or looking for no-contract options
• Finding out about any data usage limits that may apply – or looking for plans or providers that offer unlimited data usage
Additional fees for internet service are sometimes avoidable. However, others are only assessed once or quarterly. What you can do, however, as you search for a provider or explore the possibilities with a switch to a different plan is gather as much information as possible before making a commitment. Also, ask questions if there’s some wording specific to possible fees on a provider’s website that’s fairly vague or not fully clear to you.