Pricing Plans

With nearly 2,000 ADSL plans it’s not easy to pick the one that suits your particular needs and price. The important thing is to compare like with like. There is an array of variables which may include, among others:

  • initial connection fee and cost of modem
  • availability and cost of onsite installation (if you can’t tackle it yourself)
  • monthly charges
  • price change after an introductory period
  • minimum contract period and penalty for early cancellation
  • regional pricing
  • connection speeds
  • download limits and excess-download prices, and whether uploads are included in your data limit
  • excess download being handled by reduced speed instead of an excess fee (known as ‘shaping’)
  • if penalty fees for excess downloads are capped
  • availability of free phone support
  • whether rapid transfer or ‘churning’ to another ISP is supported (this lowers the cost and speeds up the action of moving from one ISP to another)
  • what extras are included, for example:

    • web mail
    • number of email addresses
    • web space, and how much
    • fixed IP address (handy if you want to run a web server)
    • spam and virus filtering
    • free dial-up account for use when travelling
    • free game servers

You must be aware of the limitations associated with the low cost plans now available. With relatively small download limits the cost of excess downloads can become very expensive.

The Whirlpool website has up to date comparisons of prices and plans for more than 200 service providers. Go to the Broadband Choice page. Also go to the Discussion Forum for users’ comments.