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Find The Best DSL Providers By Zip Code By Using The National Broadband Map

Are you questioning your ISP’s speeds because they keep changing? Many people complain of slow downloads or complete disconnection. Depending on the company and the type of your connection, you may experience some slowdown in your service during the peak usage hours of 7-11 p.m. But the National Broadband Map can help you determine your speed, whether you’re looking for speed and availability information about cable, dial-up, satellite or DSL providers by zip code.

The interactive map, released on February 17, 2011, provides all internet users with a valuable tool to find, analyze and check broadband availability across the nation. It was created and is maintained with a collaborative effort by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the FCC.

The map provides users with the ability to search by county, address or city, and track specific types of internet connection, including mobile wireless and fiber optic. It also displays a wide array of speed tiers and shows the coverage areas of service providers. Users can also search more than 25 million records.  The limitations of this map are that while providers report offering service to a region, that does not mean that your address is necessarily covered.

So how can you use the National Broadband Map to your advantage when assessing your current or looking for a new internet connection? The map allows you to see the country’s internet connections at a glance so that you can more easily see what options might be available to you. And this doesn’t only come in handy for home internet users, but can also benefit those interested in the industry, like policymakers and researchers.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the speeds displayed on the map are the advertised speeds of service providers. In a recent FCC study, it was revealed that not all internet companies actually operate at their advertised speeds, especially during peak usage times. The study is available online and is a good resource to read before consulting the map.

Since the map won’t definitively tell you which providers offer service to your address, an excellent tool that you can use along with the National Broadband Map is an ISP comparison shopping resource. Not only can it simplify the details of different service provider offerings, but it can also help you choose a company that will fall within your household budget.

A good comparison site will also reveal the details of provider contracts, such as your options for purchasing or leasing equipment and any contract requirements that an internet company may have. Knowing beforehand what your exact costs will be can eliminate any unwanted surprises on your first bill.

Of course, you will first have to check for availability of internet providers by zip code. This can be done most efficiently using the comparison site that lists all the top providers in one location, and using your zip code information to see if providers’ networks include your address.  This time efficient service eliminates having to visit individual providers’ sites to gather your data.

Going online to research companies has many benefits. Not only can you save time by doing the research yourself instead of waiting to talk to a person on the phone, but you can also get exclusive online-only discounts on your monthly service and equipment when you sign up through a web site.

 

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