Connecting with people through high speed internet in Hagerstown MD

The city of Hagerstown, which is located in the state of Maryland in the United States, is the epitome of interconnectivity. At least this is true when it comes to how it connects people through its various railroads and highways. The city does have a high number of railroads and highways that go through it as it was previously the center of the Western Maryland Railway system. With so many people passing through, with some settling down to live in the city, there is definitely a need for providers of high speed internet in Hagerstown MD.

According to a 2010 census, there were about 39,662 people that were living in the city during that time. However, that number has apparently grown with the rapid expansion of different industries and businesses within the city. The MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has Hagerstown as its anchor, is considered to be the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the state. Within the state, Hagerstown currently ranks as the sixth largest incorporated city.

The city which was founded in 1762, imbibes a semi-rural Western vibe that is the result of its rich history that includes it being a strategic location as the primary staging area for major campaigns during the American Civil War. Despite its old country vibe, the city today is actually a bustling transit and commercial center. Several railroads and the Hagerstown Regional Airport are just a few of the city’s various transportation networks that have earned it the nickname of being the “Hub City” of Maryland. Hagerstown is now the home of a diverse business environment that includes industries such as retail, financial services, manufacturing, and other modern services.

All of these different institutions will require high speed internet in Hagerstown MD, and fortunately, there are a good number of providers that are available in the city. There are currently 18 internet service providers serving residents and businesses in Hagerstown. Out of the 18 companies, nine are catering specifically to small and large businesses. The average download speed in the city of Hagerstown is around 24.78 megabits per second. The city's average internet connection speed is 46.6 percent lower than the state's average and 47 percent lower than the national average. The relatively low average internet connection speeds can be attributed to the fact that most residents do go for the cheaper plans offered by the different service providers. Hagerstown is currently ranked as the 233rd most connected city in the state of Maryland.

Enterprise-level services such as IP transit, dedicated fiber, point-to-multi-point communications are available. Primary business communication solutions providers such as Comcast Business and Verizon Business are available in the city. Relatively smaller business internet providers such as Shentel Fiber, Crown Castle, and Telegia Communications are also catering to different businesses around the city.

Most of the families that live in the city have been there for several generations. Residents are mostly a mix of blue and white-collar workers that work in different industries such as sales and customers support. Fortunately, providers such as Verizon do offer affordable DSL internet packages that should still fit within the budget of low-income families. True high speed internet in Hagerstown MD is somewhat expensive, but low-income families can still get themselves connected through cheap DSL internet plans. Because DSL does utilize the same copper wires that are being used to bring residential telephone service, DSL is readily available to most residents within the city. Verizon currently has over 99 percent of the entire city covered with its DSL internet service.

DSL plans from Verizon will cost customers anywhere from $24.99 to $34.99 per month depending on the internet connection speeds. Maximum download speeds for DSL connections are unfortunately very slow when compared to cable and fiber internet. However, DSL connection speeds are mostly very consistent since these types of connections are dedicated to each subscriber. Customers can expect maximum speeds of up to 10 megabits per second for high tier plans and as low as three megabits per second for basic internet-only plans. It has to be noted that there may be some additional charges that will be placed on top of the advertised monthly rate such as a monthly modem rental fee. Customers should also clarify whether the subscription will include a setup or tech installation fee. These plans do not have any monthly data cap, which means that subscribers can use the connection as much as they want.

For households that require faster internet speeds and those with a little more money to spend, opting to get a cable internet subscription may be the best way to go. Antietam Broadband, a subsidiary of Schurz Communications, is currently the most popular option when it comes to cable internet. The company covers nearly 94 percent of Hagerstown with its internet, cable television, and residential telephone services. Cable internet service from this particular company is a little bit more expensive when compared to its DSL competitors. Prices will range from $44.95 per month for basic plans with internet speeds of up to five megabits per second up to $119.95 per month for high-end plans with internet speeds of up to 200 megabits per second.

The relatively fast speed achieved by the higher tier plans have been made possible through the company’s use of its hybrid fiber-coaxial networks that combine the best features of both fiber optics and cable internet. All the plans provided by the company will, unfortunately, have strict monthly data caps. The $44.95 basic internet-only plan will only allow users access to 500 gigabytes of data per month. The allocated data increases with each tier. The highest tier package will allow users to consume 1.5 terabytes of data per month. Subscribers who exceed their monthly allocated data will have their connections severely slowed down to as low as 1 megabit per second. The connection will only be returned to normal once the billing cycle rolls over.

Aside from the monthly data caps, Antietam Broadband also charges its customers a $99 tech installation fee for each new subscription. The company also adds a $6.95 monthly modem rental fee for each account.

Antietam Broadband currently does offer right high speed internet in Hagerstown MD through its residential fiber optic internet service. Unfortunately, the company's fiber-optic network only covers around 30 percent of the city. Pricing for a fiber optic internet subscription will vary depending on the location. Internet speeds achieved through the use of this new technology can reach maximum speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second. These types of speeds will be perfect for households with multiple users that generally use their connections for burdensome online activities such as 4K video streaming and multiplayer online gaming.

Those that are living outside the range of wired internet service networks can still get connected through the use of fixed wireless internet services. Telegia Communications is currently the go-to provider for this type of internet connectivity option. The company currently services roughly 89 percent of the entire city. Wireless internet service is relatively slow when compared to cable internet. The service is also a bit more expensive to set up and is somewhat unstable as it does transmit signals wirelessly. Wireless signals may be susceptible to interference from things such as weather and other environmental factors.

People living in remote areas that are out of range for even wireless internet service can still get online through a satellite internet subscription. The country's primary satellite internet service providers, ViaSat and HughesNet, are both available in Hagerstown. Compared to wireless internet, satellite internet is much more expensive to set up as it will require expensive hardware to work. The technology utilizes actual satellites that are in geosynchronous orbit around the planet to send and receive internet signals. A satellite dish has to be installed on the customer's home or place of businesses for the connection to work.

The company's advertised monthly rates may look cheap, but the subscription will actually include many additional costs such as a mandatory monthly modem rental fee. Subscriptions will also typically include a multi-year contract that will prohibit customers from prematurely ending their connections. Those that do end their contracts before the lock-in period ends may face early termination fees that can run into the hundreds of dollars. The fee is meant to cover the cost of the specialized equipment and its installation, which would have been paid off through the monthly payments.

Satellite internet speeds are also relatively slow when compared to cable and fiber optics. Speeds may range from 12 megabits per second to 25 megabits per second depending on the type of plan. Monthly allocated data is also deficient for most accounts. Data allocation may range from 10 gigabytes per month to 50 megabytes per month depending on the type of plan. Accounts that exceed their allocated monthly data will have their speeds drastically reduced to as low as one megabit per second. The most significant advantage of these types of connections is that they can literally be installed anywhere, even in the most remote of locations.

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12 Dec 2018

By XYZies