The Expatriate and his Broadband: Where should you start?
The expat's hunt for the right broadband plan begins with the right baseline.
As a homeowner or newly settled expat, selecting the right broadband is like laundry day - it’s something we all have to contend with sooner or later. Yet, when we finally get around to it, the number of factors we need to consider can be overwhelming.
Which package offers the best value? Which is better for the long-term? Which gives me the widest variety of options if I decide to upgrade down the line?
The list of considerations goes on and on, but in our search for the “best-fit broadband”, we often forget to address the elephant in the room: what do we really need out of our subscription?
Why did the chicken cross the road?
This is where we can turn to our favourite proverbial bird for assistance. Generally speaking, the correct (or at least, widely accepted) answer to this common joke is that “it wanted to get to the other side”.
In a similar fashion, all we really want is to get from point A to point B, and in the context of choosing a broadband, that means having sufficient bandwidth and speed that we can handle both work and play uninterrupted. Although anyone is perfectly welcome to upgrade to a higher-tier subscription if their budget allows for it, let’s assume we’re a regular corporate expat who’s just settled in.
Between some basic furniture and other necessities, we’re also looking for a value-added (yet affordable) broadband plan, so how much bandwidth should we be looking for?
Admittedly, there isn’t a hard-and-fast rule of how much you’ll really need for any one given task, but where home broadband plans are concerned, a 1Gbps subscription should be more than enough for the average household.
Case in point, it’s fast enough that your YouTube videos and work documents won’t come through at a snail’s pace, yet reasonable enough that you won’t be breaking the bank in subscription fees every month. At this point, it also goes without saying that if you can’t afford the plan to begin with, then it’s always a no-go even if it does afford you ridiculous value.
Good price, good value and then some
So, now that we have a baseline to work with, it’s time to see what else we need the subscription for, or to be more specific, what extras we can potentially get out of it.
Like it or not, we’re all attracted to good value, and there’s absolutely no shame in wanting to get the most bang out of our buck. In fact, this might be especially so for our expat friends, who will presumably be unfamiliar with living costs for the first two or three months of their stay. After all, between basic necessities like food, groceries or transport, your broadband subscription fees would be the last thing you’d want to worry about financially.
With those concerns in mind, this is where we cast the net wider to include freebies, which are often given away for first-time broadband sign-ups. From a practical standpoint, there are lots of relevant options available to you. Specifically, those who might have come solo could consider additional entertainment options like Disney+ or Netflix subscriptions. Alternatively, for those settling in with their families, a Smart WiFi router to cover potential “dead spots” in the home would allow everyone to enjoy more seamless and consistent connections.
Still, the best possible freebie one could (potentially) ask for is to try out the subscription and its features before paying. Unfortunately, since such trials don’t inherently exist on the market, we might have to make do with something similar, like having the first six months free for new sign-ups, among other potential pluses.
Either way, we’re getting excellent mileage out of the plan from the get-go, and it’d be like attending a food sampling – you’d get to confirm which parts of it you like for future reference. Plus, if your overseas stint is extended and you decide to extend your subscription, chances are that you’ll be able to do so at a discounted price too.
Frankly, it’s already hard to argue when you’re effectively paying for only three-quarters of a two-year subscription, not to mention that any other freebies you get beyond that are just icing on an already-attractive cake.
So, is your broadband subscription worth "crossing the road" for?
In short, our hunt for the right broadband subscription all comes back to the whole “point A to point B” metaphor. It’s not that we’re picky - we just want something that satisfies our needs at a reasonable price, and if we can get even more out of it for free, like additional TV channels, then all the better.
For what it’s worth, the average corporate expat certainly doesn’t need the same speeds that a competitive gamer might, but if they can get such a subscription at a good price, that’s more than enough reason to cross the proverbial road. As long as you’re not overcommitting, at least financially for something that you don’t necessarily need, then you should be good to go. Of course, if you’re keen on checking out the entire slate of broadband options, feel free to stop by this page