Internet Advice Needed

     I need some advice.  VTel has sent around a holiday offer.  One level of their service, the lowest, is 2GB of data per month for $10.  They say that is equal to about 10 hours of internet usage after which download speed keeps diminishing.  They didn’t want to tell me how much it diminishes.  They’re answer was, ‘well, that’s when people usually upgrade.”  My Fairpoint deal is $15/month, at a slow speed (750 kb/sec), but I can spend 100 hours a month on the net and notice nothing in terms of speed diminishing.  In fact it seems that I can spend 24 hours a day on the net, or streaming, and the speed seems the same on the last day of the month as it was on the first.  Even at 750kb youtube videos and such often, but not always, play at the proper speed.  Occasionally it gets so slow I give up but for the most part what I have suits me.  The next upgrade at VTel is $25/mo. for 15 GB of data.

      One more issue:  Fairpoint may be slow by comparison but my price, from an introductory offer when they were starting up here, is guaranteed for life.  Indeed it’s been the same $15 for eight years or so.  If I cancel I don’t get that back.  VTel tells me I can try their service for a month without cancelling Fairpoint.  Seem true?

      The problem for me is that Fairpoint seems to be selling speed and VTel is selling an amount of data and I don’t know how to visualize or compare the two.  Note that Fairpoint is talking bits and VTel bytes.  I understand the difference in those.

Comments | 6

  • VTel

    I would only caution that here in Southern Guilford various neighbors along w. us have received notices from VTel saying “service now available in your area” only to find they’re being either optimistic or somewhat fraudulent. We got such a notice and said great, give us the details. Awhile later they reported that, well, service isn’t actually available at your residence. A few weeks ago another neighbor when thru the same procedure.

    Maybe Brattleboro is different, but you should start by finding out if they REALLY can provide you with service. Then you can put energy into comparing.

    • A good first question that

      A good first question that has been answered. Service is available on my street in Brattleboro.

  • data

    I’m not a big fan of plans that are based on data used. What if an unknowing friend or colleague sends some big files your way? Your limits get used up.

    The plans that are always on and just limit your speed, are better suited for someone like me, who needs to both look at a lot of sites and do a fair amount of uploading and downloading as part of work.

    It looks like VTel is charging by data used, which the way people many pay for their phone time. (I still prefer the always on landline).

    So in terms of data used…

    – an email or text document is usually under 100 kilobytes. Small.
    – photos can be small, but many people don’t resize them before sending. Could be under 100k, or much higher. I just did some work with big images that were 123 MB files for each one, and there were many. I find many camera photos to be in the 10-20MB range these days.
    – an hour of YouTube at low resolution could be 250MB. Hi-res could be over 1GB.
    – an hour of streaming audio could be about 100MB

    • thanks

      Thanks for sharing what you know. With that and everything else learned so far I’m declining to switch over to VTel at this point. It does seem like I would be degrading my service switching from Fairpoint’s lowest service to VTel’s. If and when I feel compelled to go to a higher level the choices can be revisited.

  • Just for perspective

    I pay $27 per month for my phone, and get unlimited calls & international texting, limited overseas calling, and 3gb of data. 3gb of data is fine for a phone because you can use WiFi when it’s available. For regular home use, I don’t think 3GB would be nearly enough, for me anyway.

    You’ll be able to keep your Fairpoint service while trying VTel because VTel is wireless – it doesn’t use your phone line. So as long as you keep paying for Fairpoint, it will continue to be available.

    As someone else mentioned, just because VTel is available in your area, doesn’t mean its available at your house. When I checked, I was told that I would need to buy a supplemental device (@ around $200, IIRC) to connect to their service. You can visit their website and enter your address and you might get some additional information. If you call them, they’ll send someone over to test the signal at your residence.

    I opted to do something different to maximize my telecommunications value. I kept my Fairpoint internet and upgraded it, but I cancelled my Fairpoint phone service. Cell service is more versatile, reliable, convenient, the signal is now strong in my area, and I already have to have it for work, so why should I have a tethered phone?

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