When it comes to broadband connections or internet for your home, Pakistani market has always been ruled by a single player. Fortunately, other companies have ended the Internet Service Provider (ISP) monopoly in Pakistan with faster connections, reliable equipment and far better customer support.
Subscribing to an ISP is a pretty big investment as far as money and time go. A good ISP will save you money while a poor ISP will waste your precious time and hard earned money.
Therefore, we have come up with a guide which can help you choose the perfect ISP. When considering different offerings from different companies, you need to consider some important factors which define each of the ISPs and only choose the one which offers you more value for money.
Without further ado, confirm the factors listed below with each ISP before becoming a subscriber:
Fiber to the Home (FTTH)
FTTH is term used for end-to-end fiber optic connections, i.e. a fiber optic cable from the exchange to your home. It is an important factor because fiber is the future of internet connectivity. It is the most reliable medium of communication especially when compared with copper. Data travels as light signals in fiber cables instead of electrical pulses.
A fiber connection is not affected by noise and electromagnetic disturbances. As light is used to exchange data, the data transfer speeds are near instant resulting in very low ping times.
This is very important because high ping times mean delays in communication over the web even if you have a connection with a very high bandwidth. Low pings are also necessary for real time data transfers like online gaming.
Additionally, you can also get higher bandwidths with fiber connections due to high bandwidth support.
While most ISPs do offer very high bandwidths as well, the speeds are unreliable because of the communication medium, i.e. copper or wireless.
The peak download/upload speeds cannot be maintained over long periods of time. External factors like noise also cause disruptions, hence, it is best to go for a low speed reliable connection than a high bandwidth unreliable one.
Of course, one point to note is that the fiber connection is limited between the user and the ISP, so it won’t make the web faster if it’s slow at the back end. But, at least the user gets the best possible connection with FTTH.
Unfortunately, FTTH is still an emerging market in Pakistan and only a handful of operators provide fiber connections. A few ISPs which are offering FTTH in some metropolitan areas are Stormfiber, Nayatel, Fiber link and TES.
Whether it’s electric cables, telephone cables or broadband ones, underground cable network always beats the rest. If FTTH is available in your area, you should confirm with your ISP if their core cable cable network is buried underground or not.
You should always prefer an ISP which has an underground fiber network instead of an overhead one. Cables hanging over poles can get damaged due to several reasons, resulting in very serious network blackouts.
Underground cables to a user’s house are possible but have to be approved by local authorities, but the best ISP should at least have their own underground core cable network.
So, if you want an ISP which offers you near-perfect reliability, then go for the one which has an underground cable network.
Customer service is the most important factor after the speed of the connection. This is the deal-maker or breaker when considering an ISP as it can make your life hell if you get stuck with a lousy customer service department.
Some ISPs require users to wait for long periods of time when they try to contact a customer support representative. Once you do come in contact, some representatives waste your time asking for details regarding the problem and information about you.
Customers would always prefer to be offered such support services which require the least amount of hassle and get the issues resolved promptly if they ever occur.
Triple Play (Internet, TV, Phone)
Triple Play is really trending nowadays because this allows all three services; phone, TV and internet, to be offered to the customer using a single line. This streamlines everything, saves money and you don’t have a mess of wires in your house.
While there are all sorts of triple play offerings on the market, fiber cables offer a few advantages in this scenario as well. Since fiber cables are capable of transferring huge amounts of data, these can be used for HD TV and clear voice quality over phone calls. This also means more reliable TV and telephone connections. Unlike copper connections you don’t face the trouble of cable outages or phone disconnections. A triple play service should be run by the ISP and must not be dependent on a third-party, allowing for a more reliable service.
The best feature is of course the superior picture quality potential of fiber optic cables. You can get up to HD quality TV channels.
You also get more value for money as you end up paying for a 3-in-1 connection instead of line rents and what not for each one.
Are There Any ISPs With Such Offerings?
The answer to the question is, fortunately, yes. While many ISPs offer similar services, Stormfiber meets every single one of the above listed criteria.