The complete guide to internet fees by provider – August 2018

BY Nicole George | Thu Aug 23, 2018
The complete guide to internet fees by provider – August 2018

As you sign up for a new internet plan, don’t get slammed with unexpected, hidden internet fees! You can check out internet offer details and your provider’s service agreement page to learn about additional internet fees that they may come with your new service.

From modem and router rental fees to early internet cancellation fees, we’ve outlined how much different providers charge for certain internet fees and where you can get information about the internet fees they may have.

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Pros and cons of each provider’s internet fee policies:

Here’s a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each provider’s monthly costs and additional fees.

AT&T

✔ No monthly equipment rental fee

✔ Low late payment fee

👎 Charges for additional data usage

CenturyLink

✔ Can lock in price for life

👎  Highest late payment fee

Charter/Spectrum

✔ Lowest monthly equipment rental fee ($5)

✔ No early termination fee

👎  Vague about other internet fees & additional costs

Cox

✔ Cox offers no-contract plans and varying lengths of contract services

✔ Multiple modem rental options and freedom to provide your own modem

👎  You must still pay an activation fee if you set up your internet yourself

Frontier

✔ No data usage fee

👎 Lots of fee variation based on your specific internet offer

HughesNet

✔ Opportunity to purchase refurbished equipment and get $25 credit

👎  Highest early termination fee ($400)

Verizon

✔ Free installation for DSL and potential free installation for Fios

✔ Option to purchase or rent Fios router

👎  High early termination fee (up to $350)

👎  Requirement to purchase Verizon DSL Gateway

XFINITY

✔ Lower installation fee ($60 compared to typical $99 other providers)

👎 Charges for additional data usage

Originally published 4/26/18. Last updated 8/23/18.

 

AT&T internet fees and costs

AT&T modem and router rental fee

According to the offer details for AT&T internet plans, a Wi-Fi Gateway (a modem and router combo) is included in your new internet plan. Internet plan details do not disclose information about modem or router rental, just that the Gateway is included with your purchase. Previously, AT&T community support forums suggested you must rent the Gateway  sent to you. AT&T no longer charges a monthly Wi-Fi Gateway fee.

Intro deals vs. normal monthly price increase

Current pricing conditions outline that your starting price lasts 12 months. If you click on “offer details” on the latest internet plan sign-up page, you’ll see that if you keep AT&T internet service after 12 months. AT&T discloses what the new monthly cost will be after 12 months, so be sure to check the offer details when shopping online.

Data limit and usage fees

Current data limits are outlined on the internet sign-up page. Right now, AT&T has a 1 TB data limit per month. It also states a charge of $10 for each additional 50 GB of data usage.

Late payment fees

According to AT&T Terms of Service, you’ll be charged an AT&T internet late payment fee of up to $10 per bill not paid in full by the payment due date.

If a payment is returned to you, such as a bounced check, AT&T outlines a charge of up to $30. If your service is suspended for some time, by either you or AT&T, AT&T charges a Service Restoral Fee, or a reactivation fee, of “no more than $50.”

Early cancellation fees

AT&T discloses charging an early termination fee in their terms and services page, but the fee will be specific to your plan. For example, you can find the prorated early termination fee for an internet only plan in the plan’s offer details. In most AT&T internet plan details, you’ll see a prorated early termination fee of $180.

Setup and installation fees

AT&T new internet plan offer details disclose that up to $99 in installation fees apply to the your new service plan.

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CenturyLink internet fees and costs

CenturyLink modem and router rental fee

CenturyLink gives you the option of purchasing your own modem, and if you choose that option, they have provided a list of modems compatible with CenturyLink service.

However, if you choose to purchase lease or purchase a modem directly from CenturyLink, you can find the costs on the CenturyLink product details page. Monthly equipment costs $10 per month to lease, and purchasing equipment is a $150 one-time payment.

Intro deals vs. normal monthly price increase

If you purchase a CenturyLink Price For Life plan, then there’s no price increase as long as you have CenturyLink service. Other CenturyLink plans offer limited term commitments, which means you can lock in a set internet price for an amount of time, and after that, standard pricing applies.

Data limit and usage fees

CenturyLink has a 1 TB monthly data usage limit on high-speed internet customers.  They disclose that they do not currently charge a data cap fee for going over the data usage limit. You may be asked to pay for a different plan or to use less data, though.

However, by agreeing to their terms of service, you agree you will “not exceed any bandwidth usage limitations CenturyLink may establish,” so you’ll be subject to restrictions or suspensions as CenturyLink sees fit.

Late payment fees

In the high-speed internet service agreement, CenturyLink outlines late fees as a combination of a flat fee (up to $15/mo.) and a percentage of the unpaid amount of your late bill.

Early cancellation fees

CenturyLink lists early termination fees, along with tons of other internet plan details, on their offer and product terms and conditions page.

A month-to-month, no-contract internet service plan with CenturyLink will not have early termination fees because there’s no contract to terminate. But if you have CenturyLink high-speed internet service with a bundle, you could be charged early cancellation fees related to other services that have a contract term, such as TV services.

Setup and installation fees

On their terms and conditions page, CenturyLink explains that a professional technician installation fee of up to $125 applies to internet set up if you don’t opt for self-installation.

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Spectrum internet fees and costs

Spectrum modem and router rental fee

Spectrum explicitly says on their internet plan options page that a modem comes free with your internet service. According to a Spectrum support page, you must rent a router. You can find the monthly router rental fee of $5 once you start the online purchase process.

Intro deals vs. normal monthly price increase

Spectrum discloses in their FAQs that most pricing deals last 12 months and then, “standard rates apply.” You can check your local “standard rates” to check what the price could increase to by visiting Spectrum’s rate card and entering your address.  

Data limit and cap fees

Under Spectrum’s product offer disclaimers, they state that you won’t have data caps or data allowances with your internet service.

Late payment fees

Spectrum has a helpful article about all the items you may see on a monthly bill, including late fees. Spectrum charges a late fee when a bill is not paid in full by its due date. Spectrum internet late fees show up on your next monthly bill.

If your service gets disconnected and you decide to reconnect the service, you could be charged a “restoration” fee, or an internet recovery fee, which will show up on your monthly statement after reconnection. Spectrum does not disclose how much either fee is.

Early cancellation fees

Spectrum internet has no contracts and no early cancellation fees. 

Setup and installation fees

Spectrum states on their Support FAQs that setup and installation fees vary by the service that you purchase. As Reviews.org points out, Spectrum offers free setup and installation with some plans, but in some cases, they may charge an installation fee of $49.99, which will appear on your first monthly bill.

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Cox internet fees and costs

Cox modem and router rental fee

A Cox internet plan and pricing page discloses the different additional fees Cox may charge. Cox gives you the option to provide your own equipment or rent their combined modem/router equipment.

Cox says on their internet options page that you can also choose to provide a modem.

Intro deals vs. normal monthly price increase

Cox notes in “offer details and terms” on its internet plan and pricing page that promotional prices are good for 12 months. Then after the promotional period, “regular rates apply.” Each Cox deal shows you the “regular rate” of the monthly service to show you your monthly savings.

Data limit and usage fees

Under new internet plan offer details, Cox states that all internet plans have a 1 TB data cap and that data usage exceeding 1 TB could result in $10 per additional 50 GB of data.

Late payment fees

Cox states in their service agreement page that you are subject to late fees if you don’t pay a bill in full by the due date. If you wait long enough to pay, and Cox assigns your late account to a field collector, you may have to pay additional fees up to $25. Cox’s reactivation fee for all home services is $20. If you subscribe to Cox phone service, you may have to pay an additional $20 if phone service gets interrupted.

Early cancellation fees

The Cox cancellation fee is based on whether or not you have entered a specific service agreement with Cox. Early cancellation fees also depend on your plan promotions and deals. Each early termination fee charge is prorated at a different rate, and you can find the complete details for Coxearly termination fees on the Cox service agreement page.

On one Cox internet offers page, the offer details state that “You may cancel within 30 days of start of agreement to avoid an early termination fee (ETF) by calling Cox Customer Care at the number located on your bill. After that, you will be charged up to $120 if you cancel the agreement or Internet is disconnected.”

Setup and installation fees

Setup and installation for Cox high-speed internet starts at $75, and they disclose that if you choose self-installation, it will still cost you $20 to start your new internet service.

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Frontier internet fees and costs

Frontier modem and router rental fee

According to an offer details page, Frontier’s router rental fee costs up to $10 per month. Depending on your Frontier package though, your router rental fee could be $5 per month, or Frontier may waive the router rental fee altogether.

Intro deals vs. normal monthly price increase

At the bottom of the Frontier pricing and plans page, Frontier says that if you continue service after your 24 month agreement, the “then-current everyday price” will be applied.

Data limit and usage fees

Frontier doesn’t have data caps or limits currently, so you won’t face data usage fees.

Late payment fees

Frontier charges a late payment fee of up to $10 if a payment isn’t received by the billing due date. Frontier’s late payment fee shows up under “other service charges” on your bill.

Early cancellation fees

Some Frontier internet plans are no-contract plans, which means you have no early termination fee. However, some Frontier internet plans require a 2-year agreement. According to an offer details page, plans that require a 2-year agreement will have an early termination fee of up to $120.

Setup and installation fees

At the bottom of the Frontier pricing and plans page, Frontier says that installation costs $75. You can get installation and setup fees waived with certain Frontier deals and offers, though.

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HughesNet internet fees and costs

The modem and router rental fee

HughesNet offers customers the option to purchase or lease equipment, which includes a satellite dish in addition to the typical modem and router.

The typical cost to lease standard equipment and have it installed is a monthly $14.99 lease fee and $99 for installation. The typical cost to purchase standard installation and equipment is $449.98. If you purchase refurbished HughesNet equipment, their terms and conditions state that you’ll receive a $25 credit on your first bill.

Sometimes HughesNet has deals such as free installation for new internet service. Equipment purchase, installation and lease costs can all vary depending on what in your area.

Intro deals vs. normal monthly price increase

HughesNet offers two-year contracts, so your intro deal is the price you get for the following two years. If you sign up for HughesNet internet plan with a promotional deal, offer details in the footer of the internet plans page disclose that after your contract ends, internet pricing reverts to the “standard monthly fee.”

Data limit and usage fees

According to HughestNet FAQs, there are no data fees for using more data than your limit. However, if you use all the data in your plan, you’ll experience reduced internet speeds. To bring slow speeds back to normal, you can purchase extra data for your plan. You can find internet plans with data usage limits ranging from 10 GB to 50 GB on the HughesNet internet plans page.

Late payment fees

In the user service agreement, HughesNet states that if any check you submit is returned for insufficient funds or if your account is suspended for non-payment, and you wish to restore service, you could be charged up to $25.

Early cancellation fees

HughesNet satellite internet contracts are two years long. If you cancel before the end of your two-year service commitment and have purchased equipment from HughesNet, you’ll be charged a prorated fee that starts at $400 and decreases by $15 per month after 90 days of service.

If you cancel before the end of your service commitment and have leased equipment, you’ll be charged the prorated $400 as a cancellation fee plus $300 for an unreturned equipment fee if you do not return the installed modem, power supply and radio to HughesNet within 45 days in good condition.

According to the HughesNet service terms page, if you cancel your order before installation, you’ll receive a refund and won’t be charged for cancellation.

The above information applies to HughesNet customers after 3/10/17, but Terms and Conditions for HughesNet customers who subscribed at prior dates can find their applicable HughesNet Terms and Conditions as well.

Setup and installation fees

If you purchase equipment from HughesNet, the setup and installation fees are included with the equipment purchase fee, which is typically $449.98. If you lease equipment, the installation fee is $99.

If you relocate your HughesNet service and need new installation, HughesNet states that they will not charge for relocation installation. However, you must commit to HughesNet for the next 12 months, regardless of time left on your current contract.

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Verizon internet fees and costs

Verizon modem and router rental fee

You aren’t required to purchase or rent a modem with Verizon Fios internet service. Instead, Verizon provides and installs an Optical Network Terminal, which connects to your router.

However, you have the option to either purchase or rent a Wi-Fi router if you don’t want to use your own. For Verizon Fios internet plans, you can find the monthly router rental fee, which is $12 starting October 1, 2018, under new plan offer details. A different Verizon page states you also have the option to upgrade to the Fios Quantum Gateway router for $10 per month if you don’t already use the Quantum Gateway. You may also purchase the Fios Quantum Gateway router for $149.99.

Verizon DSL high-speed internet plans require you to purchase a self-installation kit from Verizon that comes with a Verizon wireless Gateway.

Intro deals vs. normal monthly price increase

Some Verizon Fios internet plans have no contract, but according to new plan offer details, promo rates go away after an unspecified amount of time and “increase after promo period.”

Verizon also offers Fios internet plans with contracts, have a guaranteed price for a number of years until your Verizon Fios internet service commitment is over.

High-speed internet plans require one-year contracts, so your price will last for a year. New plan offer details state that “rates may increase after first year.” The terms and conditions state that if you do not select a new contract plan, your internet service plan will convert to a monthly plan that “may be higher than your current rate.”

Data limit and usage fees

Verizon Fios internet plans do not have data fees, and Verizon has previously boasted that Fios doesn’t have a usage cap. Verizon high-speed internet plans also have no data caps.

Late payment fees

Verizon states in internet user terms of service that they may charge a late fee on unpaid balances if they don’t receive the full payment by the due date. The late fee could be “the amount billed by your local exchange carrier,” $5 or the “maximum allowed by law.” Since that is fairly vague, Verizon directs you to review your monthly bill to see what’s applicable to your account.

Early cancellation fees

If you purchase a Verizon Fios internet plan with a specified length of service, a prorated $350 early termination fee that decreases $15 per month applies. Customers paying month to month do not have Verizon internet early termination fees.

If you have a Verizon high-speed internet contract, the early termination cost is a prorated $350 fee that decreases $15 per month. Verizon outlines how early internet cancellation works and explains their prorated cancellation fee on a service support page.

Setup and installation fees

The typical Verizon Fios internet installation fee is $99.99, but may be waived depending on current internet plan deals and promotions. Verizon Fios internet plans also offers self-installation, but not all orders are eligible for Fios self-installation.

Verizon high-speed internet plans have gateways and routers that are sent with self-installation guides, so you have no installation fee.

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XFINITY internet fees and costs

XFINITY modem and router rental fee

XFINITY internet discloses on their internet equipment page exactly how much it costs per month to rent one of their Gateways. Renting a Gateway from XFINITY currently costs $11 per month.

Intro deals vs. normal monthly price increase

XFINITY states the standard monthly service charge for each internet option on its internet service comparison page. Click on “Pricing & Other Info” as you browse internet plan options in your area to learn what the standard monthly rates are after promotional pricing ends.

Data limit and cap fees

XFINITY internet plans have a 1 TB data cap, and XFINITY says 99% of customers don’t use that much data per month.

Your internet will not be restricted if you do go over 1 TB of data usage. Instead you can pay $10 for each additional 50 GB, or you can pay $50 per month to have truly unlimited data.

One feature of XFINITY internet plans is that certain qualifying customers can get $5 back each month if you use 5 GB or less.

Late payment fees

The XFINITY service agreement only outlines late payment fees for Maryland residents. However, many customers in the XFINITY user forum have noted a typical late payment charge of $9.95.

If you decide to reactivate your XFINITY service after it’s disconnected or suspended for non-payment, you could be charged an additional XFINITY reactivation fee of $6.

Early cancellation fees

If you have an XFINITY internet plan with a set service term, an early termination fee will apply, and it is a prorated fee that drops by $10 per month. The starting cost will depend on the length of your service term agreement. The early termination fee for a one-year agreement starts at $110 and the early cancellation cost for two-year agreements starts at $230.

XFINITY also offers internet plans without service term agreements. So, if you have a month to month plan with no contract, there are no early termination fees.

Setup and installation fees

XFINITY charges a professional installation fee of $60.
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These top provider internet fees of course change as providers update their services. We hope this guide can help you evaluate your options as you purchase internet and help you make the smartest decision for you.

Originally published 4/26/18. Last updated 8/23/18.
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