The FCC recommends the following methods for obtaining broadband:
- Contact an Internet Service Provider (ISP) in your area. This may be a local telephone company or other provider for DSL and fiber, a cable company for cable modem, a wireless or satellite company for wireless broadband, or an electrical utility provider for Broadband over Powerlines (BPL).
- There are differences among broadband services, and the equipment of one provider may not work in another area or with another provider. Check with your broadband service provider for information on compatibility. Providers sometimes offer promotions or discounts on necessary equipment.
- Before ordering service, check with the service provider to find out the cost and what transmission speeds they promise. Be aware that the actual transmission speeds you experience depend on many factors and may be less than the maximum potential speed stated by your provider.
- When you receive your contract, be aware of the fine print and the conditions of service. After receiving the service, contact your provider regarding any problems. If you are not pleased with your current service or provider, contact them to attempt to resolve the issue. If problems are not resolved, you can investigate obtaining service through a different provider or file a complaint with the FCC.
- A satellite provider may be able to provide broadband service to your home even if other types of broadband services are not available in your community.
- If you are unable to obtain broadband service in your area, there may be several courses of action available to you. You may want to contact your local library to see if they have public computers with Internet access. If not, ask if they have considered applying for the federal E-rate program, which subsidizes broadband to libraries and schools.
- You can also contact local government officials, such as your mayor, county commission or city council members and ask what they can do to attract broadband service providers to your area. Understand that it is usually expensive to extend a broadband network. The more individuals that are willing to subscribe to a provider’s service, the more likely it is that an ISP will choose to serve your area.