Internet without a Phone Line Update
We wanted to provide an update for those of you in our regulated exchange areas that are interested in having Internet service without a phone line. Just as an issue of clarification, this service has always been available, however, it is less expensive to have service with the phone line, than it is to just have Internet.
One example: (currently)
25 Mbps Fiber $41.95
Residential Phone $18.00
Est. Taxes/Fees $ 9.78 (depending on area)
Total Est. Monthly Fee $69.73
Current price for Data Only Internet (lowest tier) – no phone line: $149.95. Customers can save roughly $76 per month by keeping a phone line.
There is significant cost savings in keeping the phone line, even if you do not plug it in. However, there are still many people who value and use the landline phone.
Why is it more expensive?
Each year, as a regulated telecommunications company, we are required to file a cost study with the FCC and USAC that demonstrates that we are in an area where the cost to provide services is high. The cost is higher here, in our rural area, because we have fewer people per mile than providers in large cities. This means there are fewer people to share the cost of a telecommunications network. For example, in our service area we have approximately 4 households per square mile, compared to Salt Lake City where there are approximately 731 households per square mile (source: census.gov). As a part of this process we participate in a national tariff that identifies rates for services based on our costs. Our Internet prices for customers are driven by this tariff.
Didn’t the FCC pass new rules that support standalone broadband?
Yes, they did and we encouraged them to pass these rules. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean our cost to provide services changed, so the latest tariff does not show lower rates. If more people moved to a data only plan the tariff price would gradually come down. We are working with these organizations to see if we can get the tariff revised based on projections of customers that would be interested in a data-only plan. You can help us make these projections more accurate by completing this survey.
Why aren’t there more companies offering Internet in this area?
The main reason is that we live in an area where it’s expensive to provide services. When companies evaluate Internet in rural areas as a business they quickly recognize they can cover more people, for less money, in more densely populated areas. There are some wireless internet providers, but their service requires a wired connection to their tower, then all the customers using the service share the bandwidth going to that tower, which is why they typically offer lower speeds or higher prices.
Is there any way to lower my bill?
Yes, depending on your situation!
- We do have bundle discounts for customers. You can see discounts of $5 to $10 per month off your monthly bill based on the services you select. There is more information at www.allwest.com or you can contact customer service for information on bundle discounts.
- Broadband service is also now supported by the Lifeline program, for lower income households. Visitwww.lifelinesupport.org for more information on this program.