Which Internet Service Providers Have The Best Contracts?


Internet Service Providers Commitment Lengths

The advent of widespread access to broadband Internet speeds has created a highly competitive market for Internet service providers (ISPs). These providers have rates that vary in terms of available speeds, networking technology, and infrastructure. In order to deal with potential price fluctuations, many providers require that subscribers sign a long-term contract. These contracts keep the access rates at steady levels throughout the term of the agreement. Below are some examples of contract lengths from major national carriers.

SEE ALSO: How To Find An Internet Provider In My Area

AT&T U-verse

AT&T's U-verse is a one-connection system that allows you to have cable television, Internet, and phone through one system. It involves a system called Internet protocol television (IPTV), in which a high speed Internet connection is connected to a set-top box, which, in turn, is connected to your television set. This allows not only for high definition television, but also a faster Internet connection and a reliable phone service. Here are the specifics:

  • Download Speed: 3-24 Mbps (depending on plan)
  • Minimum Contract Length: 12 Months
  • Equipment/Installation Cost: $150 Installation charge
  • Auto-Renew? Yes
  • Additional Charges: $180 early termination fee if U-verse TV is disconnected; monthly equipment lease (varies)


After merging with Qwest in 2011, CenturyLink has worked to provide reliable and fast Internet service. They offer several different plans based on the speed you would like your Internet to be. CenturyLink also offers data backup, security, and support services for customers. The system statistics are:

  • Download Speed: 768 kbps - 40 Mbps (depending on location and plan)
  • Minimum Contract Length: 24 Months (no-contract service available)
  • Equipment/Installation Cost: $100 Standard Installation/$150 Professional Networking Installation
  • Auto-Renew? Yes
  • Additional Charges: Monthly equipment lease (varies by location)

Charter Communications

With a bandwidth that supports more devices than most Internet providers, Charter Communications has made its mark on the Internet providers list. Along with these benefits, customers of Charter also take part in its Hacker Security Suite®, which protects customers against spam, viruses, and hackers. The contract involves:

  • Download Speed: Up to 30 Mbps
  • Minimum Contract Length: 12 Months (month-to-month available)
  • Equipment/Installation Cost: $129.99 ($119.99 pre-paid by install date)
  • Auto-Renew? No (month-to-month)
  • Additional Charges: $150 early termination fee; $5 modem lease fee


Boasting "the ultimate take-it-with-you Internet service," Clear Internet offers Internet services for both at home and on the go. With easy installation and low prices, Clear is definitely a competitor on the Internet scene. Here are the statistics:

  • Download Speed: 3-6 Mbps (depending on location and device)
  • Minimum Contract Length: Month-to-month or 22 month contract
  • Equipment/Installation Cost: $34.99 for 4G Internet Basic Plan/$49.99 for 4G Internet Plan
  • Auto-Renew? No (month-to-month)
  • Additional Charges: Fees vary based on plan


Standing firm on the superiority of satellite, DISH Net now offers high speed Internet, along with their television and home phone services. This, along with a $10 a month savings with a bundle, also entails:

  • Download Speed: 5-10 Mbps (depending on plan)
  • Minimum Contract Length: 24 Months
  • Equipment/Installation Cost: $99 Activation Fee
  • Auto-Renew? Yes
  • Additional Charges: $17.50/month cancellation fee on remaining months

Frontier Communications

With a two-year price guarantee on a phone and Internet bundle, Frontier Communications is another great option for Internet. The statistics for Frontier are:

  • Download Speed: Up to 12 Mbps
  • Minimum Contract Length: 24 Months (month-to-month plans available)
  • Equipment/Installation Cost: Varies
  • Auto-Renew? Yes
  • Additional Charges: $400 early termination fee; $9.99 disconnection order processing fee


HughesNet, a satellite Internet provider, is another great option for your web needs. Their Gen4 satellite Internet has a 15 times greater download capacity than before, which now easily competes with some of the big leagues in Internet providers. The details of their contract are:

  • Download Speed: 5-15 Mbps (depending on plan)
  • Minimum Contract Length: 24 Months
  • Equipment/Installation Cost: $49 Installation fee after $50 upfront savings; $9.99 monthly equipment Lease fee
  • Auto-Renew? Yes
  • Additional Charges: Early termination fees: $0 within 30 days of activation; $400 from 30 to 90 days of activation; $400 - ($15 x # of active months) after 90 days.


With beginnings as a wireless communications company in 2000, Verizon has become a heavy hitter in Internet providers. With a 99.9% reliable high speed Internet network, you can have a great Internet experience with Verizon. The contract involves:

  • Download Speed: .5 - 15 Mbps (depending on plan)
  • Minimum Contract Length: 24 Months
  • Equipment/Installation Cost: Professional Installation starting at $199
  • Auto-Renew? No (month-to-month)
  • Additional Charges: $79 early termination fee

SEE ALSO: High Speed Internet


Boasting free activation and an unlimited phone in their bundle, Windstream also makes a strong case for Internet. The company furthers its value with a guaranteed price for life and 24/7 U.S.-based support. Contracts with Windstream involve:

  • Download Speed: 3-12 Mbps
  • Minimum Contract Length: 24 Months (no-contract terms available)
  • Equipment/Installation Cost: Varies
  • Auto-Renew? No (month-to-month)
  • Additional Charges: Early termination fee based on the number of months remaining on the contract

High-speed Internet users and broadband providers often enter intolong-term contracts in order to provide a dependable level of service at a predictable price. Customers can count on high download speeds, regular service and prices that fit their budgets, while the providers offer the latest technology and maintain a steady income stream.

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