Paying for what your household or business uses is not a new concept in the utility world. We personally have four different electric meters running between our home place and three stock tanks. When the stock tanks are being used during the summer months, we pay more for the electricity. When they are turned off during the winter, we pay $23 a month to have the meter and the access to the connection (which we are thankful to have in these remote locations). If you want the greenest lawn in town, you’ll pay a higher water bill than the neighbor who has chosen to landscape with Scoria rock.
Internet providers have been slower to adopt this model, choosing instead to limit your speeds based on what you are willing to pay. If you think about it, it’s really like the airline model, and we have all seen in the news how that is working recently. We find the cheapest fare we can, and then we suffer through a miserable second-class experience, herded through like sheep and stuffed into a middle seat that isn’t wide enough for the average 10-year-old.
Mid-Rivers realized that this was what we were subjecting our customers to with tiered Internet pricing. Pay for the cheapest plan available (because Internet is Internet, right?), and then suffer through buffering video, fragmented page loading, and 40-minute file downloads. Most of us as consumers spend very little time – probably seconds or minutes, if at all – thinking about the Internet speeds we truly need to have a good experience (why would we, we have lives). We consider it for as long as it takes to make a buying decision, at which time we think, “Oh, I’m sure the cheapest plan will be good enough for me.” Then when we add a new device to our home network, or we start streaming Netflix, all of the sudden our experience starts suffering, and we again have to think about it and make the decision to do something (whether that is complaining, or calling to upgrade speeds, it still requires action on our part). We spend seconds or minutes thinking about something we use and rely on for HOURS EVERY DAY.
Mid-Rivers got tired of people having a bad Internet experience on the cheapest plans. Members of this cooperative have made a large investment in a quality Internet network, and those members should be able to use that network to its fullest extent. Wide Open Internet opens up that Internet pipe to your home or business, removing speed limits and second-class status. Everybody gets a big pipe to the Internet to do what you need to do, when you need to do it. When you buy a vehicle, do you buy the cheapest one available that can only go 25 MPH because you mostly drive in town? What if you need to drive to Billings – should you have to choose between buying a new car just for that one trip or taking two days to get there? If we can provide you faster speeds, why wouldn’t we?
Wide Open combines the best possible Internet experience with a pay-as-you-go, usage-based billing model so customers are in control of their own individual Internet bill. Per GB usage rates are based on average users, so that rates stay reasonable and comparable for average users and very affordable for those who use less. Only the heaviest users pay more, but they are also GETTING more – more speed and a better experience, and a “self-increasing” speed as their bandwidth needs increase. You don’t have to call us every time you start using the Internet more, or the once or twice a month you need to download a big file, to move up to a higher plan.
Wide Open has been so popular that customers in our smaller communities have asked about it. We are proud to announce that thanks to recent regulatory changes, we can begin offering Wide Open Internet to fiber customers in Baker, Roundup, Jordan, and all the other areas getting fiber this year, effective July 1, 2017!
Here’s a little case study conducted by one of our employees from Circle (getting fiber this year) on their own family’s monthly usage and what their bill would look like with Wide Open Internet. Keep in mind that on average our Internet customers are still using LESS data every month than this family:
“I did a little research on my family’s usage and we have 3 smart phones, 2 iPads, 2 Laptops, Dish with Netflix and other OTT Apps, and a Play Station, so 9 devices all running at various times throughout the day. Below is what my usage and monthly bill would look like with Wide Open. Does not take into account the added values we are able to provide by going to this model and the higher level of service I will get going forward.”
$55 a month for 200M+ Internet speeds, that are self-increasing when I need more? I can move to First Class with premium boarding and a spacious seat and speed through accelerated checkout starting at only $19.95 a month, AND have control over my own bill every month? Revolutionary, and only available from Mid-Rivers.