According to the most recent data from the FCC, 10 small businesses spend a median of $106 per month (adjusted for inflation 11) on broadband service.
Among business broadband plans, an obvious rule of thumb about price is the higher your speed, the more you’ll spend. But there are other factors that influence price as well: network type, population density, and geography.
Prices vary by network type
Satellite, although it generally offers slower speeds, may not be much cheaper than competing products because maintaining the network is costly and complicated.
DSL networks are reliably maintained at a low cost, and speeds are limited, so you can generally expect low- to mid-level prices.
Cable is also reliably maintained, but since it offers higher speeds, the network may have a slightly higher cost. That cost and the higher speeds may raise the price.
Fiber is a newer, more advanced technology with higher infrastructure costs, since (1) fiberglass is more expensive to manufacture than copper or coax and (2) building a network into a new area costs more than laying new lines on an existing one. Fiber-optic internet is affordable for many businesses already, and it continues to become more affordable as the footprint expands.
Prices may vary by geography
Some internet providers have consistent prices across the country, but some don’t. Prices may be lower or higher in certain states or cities depending on services and speeds available there.
How to save on small-business internet
Look for deals
- Take advantage of seasonal deals. Most internet providers run deals year-round, changing them on a seasonal basis. These seasonal deals usually offer a lower monthly cost and at least one other incentive, like free installation, a cash rewards card, or reimbursement for early-termination fees.
- Subscribe for limited-time offers. Another way to save is by looking out for flash deals, which tend to offer higher discounts. Flash deals happen just a few times a year, sometimes around major holidays. But the timing mostly depends on behind-the-scenes factors like the provider’s business numbers and marketing strategies, so if you’re determined to pay the lowest price, you’ll need to subscribe to the brand’s emails to find out about these sales.
Bundle with business phone, TV, and more
Bundling is the easiest and most convenient way to save money on internet service. When you bundle multiple products together, you pay less for each service and get more in return.
- Add phone or TV. Phone and TV are two of the business services that are most often added to an internet plan. Phone service is key to sending a professional image and improving relationships with customers, and TV can help customer-facing spaces attract visitors and sometimes turn them into regulars.
- Add specialized products. Many internet providers also have special products that are unique to their brand, like security and device protection, conferencing software, and more. These services could take the place of other products you’re currently using, saving you money and making it more convenient to manage all your tech tools from one provider, or provide benefits that you’re not getting now.
Summary: What to remember about price when you’re looking for business internet
- The median cost of small-business broadband is about $106 per month (adjusted for inflation). 12,13
- Many providers run seasonal ongoing deals. You can also watch for shorter-term promotions by subscribing to email updates.
- Bundling could save you time and money and bring returns. Tip: Before exploring pricing online, make note of other business expenses you have or needs that aren’t being filled so you can quickly identify bundling opportunities.
Back to Part 4: Security
10. FCC, “Business Broadband Capability Survey Results November 2010”
11. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “CPI Inflation Calculator”
12. FCC, “Business Broadband Capability Survey Results November 2010”
13. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “CPI Inflation Calculator”