Read these 3 Local Internet Service Provider Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about ISP tips and hundreds of other topics.
Just as there are local stores and local newspapers, there are local Internet service providers. A local ISP will sometimes be an active and important part of its community. They will sometimes attend local events, and frequently seen local ISP personnel can (like local reporters) even attain local celebrity status. Local internet service providers will usually have fairly narrow areas of focus due to manpower constraints, but will usually be competitive in these specialty areas. A consumer looking for an ISP should not eliminate local ones just because they're local.
Local ISPs will usually have less bandwidth than their national counterparts. Smaller companies will have difficulty affording the T3 type connections that the larger companies use. If you're connecting to an ISP via modem, you may find that a local ISP has fewer phone lines (and thus possibly more busy signals). Of course, it may also have fewer customers so this may cancel out. The quality of a local ISP is heavily dependent upon its personnel. A local ISP with good technical people will feature cutting-edge ISP technologies, but a local ISP with poor staff will be constantly behind the times.
Local ISPs do not outsource their customer support. If they do, they're no longer considered local. Consequently they will generally be a lot more reachable than their national counterparts. It's usually not too hard to find a real, local person who cares about your problem. Local ISPs will sometimes (surprisingly) utilize more advanced ISP technology than their national ISPs. This is true for the same reason that smaller companies are usually responsible for technological advances -- smaller companies usually move and adapt more quickly. Local ISPs will also sometimes have better latency due to their proximity.