Changing Internet Providers

Issues related to the use and operation of Family History Centers
KenRichins
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Changing Internet Providers

Postby KenRichins » Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:40 am

We have a Family History Center in our stake that has had DSL internet for several years, about 8 I think. anyway in working with the 5 computers to do updates I found that it was taking 3 to 4 hours to download a 240MB file. So I did some download test and found that the download speed was only 250Kbs! I called the provider and they tested the line and said that it was fine and that the plan we had ONLY provided 384kbs and suggested that as that plan was no longer offered we could upgrade to a 768kbs plan for $10 less per month. So we did that. now when testing the line we get 387kbs and the provider says that is the best they can do. So I started looking and found Cable will give us 10MBs for about the same price.

My question is how can we change provider as we don't get a bill for the DSL as it is part of the phone number for the FHC and that is reimbursed by the Church. Who do I need to contact to get this switch to the better provider so that the Stake doesn't get stuck paying the bill?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:02 pm

You'll need to talk to the FM group. Last I knew they were assigned to be paying for Internet Access. However, you may find them reluctant to take on a new charge until they've had time to add that to their budget. So you may be looking at next year.

Your current payment situation (including Internet access in the phone bill), while not unique, I don't think ever was policy.
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KenRichins
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Changing Internet Provider in FHC

Postby KenRichins » Mon May 11, 2009 8:15 am

RussellHltn wrote:You'll need to talk to the FM group. Last I knew they were assigned to be paying for Internet Access. However, you may find them reluctant to take on a new charge until they've had time to add that to their budget. So you may be looking at next year.

Your current payment situation (including Internet access in the phone bill), while not unique, I don't think ever was policy.


FM Groups States they do NOT pay ANY INTERNET CHARGES everyting is billed to STAKE.

Stake clerk says SL reimburses for FHC Internet. MY Question is do I need to get permission to change provider and if so who do I get it from?

No one seems to have an answer for me or even tell me where to find the answer!

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Postby techgy » Mon May 11, 2009 8:22 am

KenRichins wrote:FM Groups States they do NOT pay ANY INTERNET CHARGES everyting is billed to STAKE.

Stake clerk says SL reimburses for FHC Internet. MY Question is do I need to get permission to change provider and if so who do I get it from?

No one seems to have an answer for me or even tell me where to find the answer!


Ken,

You didn't say if you were the STS in your stake or not. I serve as the STS for our stake and a while ago we had some Internet problems that caused us to look for another option. The Stake Presidency wasn't concerned about where we obtained the Internet, only that it was reliable.

I'm guessing that as long as the cost is comparable to what you're paying now, that you could clear this with the Stake Presidency. In doing so I would do some investigation and come up with some figures and perhaps a comparison of the current ISP and the new ISP. Something that the presidency can review and get a comfortable feeling about the change.

We never made the swap as we finally determined the problem and it's been stable ever since. However, I could have done so if necessary without any red tape.
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Postby aebrown » Mon May 11, 2009 8:33 am

KenRichins wrote:FM Groups States they do NOT pay ANY INTERNET CHARGES everyting is billed to STAKE.

Stake clerk says SL reimburses for FHC Internet. MY Question is do I need to get permission to change provider and if so who do I get it from?

No one seems to have an answer for me or even tell me where to find the answer!


I'd follow up with your stake clerk first. What you said he said doesn't sound quite right to me. I am a stake financial clerk, and we have an official FHC in our stake, as well as a building with Meetinghouse Internet, and I know of no mechanism that could be described as "SL reimburses for FHC Internet."

You have a current Internet Service Provider. It's safe to assume the ISP is not providing the service for free. So the ISP sends a bill to someone each month. The key question is who receives this bill. Is that indeed the stake? Are you saying that the stake writes a check each month to the ISP? And that somehow the Church reimburses the stake for this expense?

If the stake is paying the bill, then it's the stake that has the contract with the ISP, and it is the stake that would have to authorize a change in the ISP. In this scenario, it would seem to me that however the stake gets reimbursed by the Church for payment to one ISP, the same procedure could be used to pay another ISP and get reimbursed.

I must note, however, that this doesn't fit my experience with an official FHC. In our case, the FM group receives the monthly bill and pays the monthly bill. We changed our ISP a few months ago, and we had to get approval from the FM Group, and the financial side of that change was handled entirely by the FM Group. The stake has nothing to do with the financial arrangments for the FHC Internet connection. On the other hand, for our Meetinghouse Internet connection in another building, the stake signed up the ISP, receives and pays the monthly bill.

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Postby SheffieldTR » Mon May 11, 2009 9:35 am

Hopefully I can help clarify this and not muddy any waters. If the location is an official FHC, an by that I mean there is a unique unit number for that FHC, then the Internet fees are paid through the FM. If changes to those fees or that ISP are to be made then they would need to be coordinated through the FM and SLC.

If there is not an assigned unit number to the location where family history work is done. Then the stake would be responsible for the Internet fees and they would need to coordinate with whatever ISP they choose, and they pay the bill.

I hope that helps.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon May 11, 2009 10:26 am

KenRichins wrote:we don't get a bill for the DSL as it is part of the phone number for the FHC and that is reimbursed by the Church.


KenRichins wrote:Stake clerk says SL reimburses for FHC Internet.


As I reread the above quotes, I see an additional source of confusion. It seems that you are saying that the DSL service for the FHC is on the same phone line that is used telephone service. This does complicate things. The phone service itself is indeed reimbursed by the Church -- it appears as a monthly charge on the stake's financial statement, with a corresponding immediate reimbursement. That is most likely what your stake clerk is referring to.

I know that some telephone companies that also provide DSL service bill both the phone service and the DSL service on the same bill. But as far as I know, the Church's reimbursement I mentioned above does not include DSL service. If it does in your stake, my guess is that this is a clerical error on the part of the Church that your stake (or the FM group) has been benefitting from.

For new connections, the Church policy is to use a separate phone line for DSL from the telephone service. I imagine this is to simplify both billing and technical support issues (you don't have to deal with DSL filters and other such hassles when you have a dedicated DSL line). That's the way our FHC was set up (about 8 years ago, if I recall). But perhaps your FHC was set up on an earlier policy.

If you do need to split the phone and DSL service, then it would seem that under FHC Internet connection payment policy, the FM Group should be paying for the Internet connection part. But FM budgets are very tight this year, so if they haven't been able to plan for this expense, they may understandably be unwilling to take on this extra expense in this budget year (even though it sounds like the Church has been paying for the Internet connection the FM group really should have been paying all along). In any case, you would have to coordinate with the FM group any service they would be paying for.

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Postby russellhltn » Mon May 11, 2009 11:19 am

It's nice to have the policy in hand.

Payment for Internet connections for family history centers is a good starting point.

There may be some confusion over [url=http://www.lds.org/Static%20Files/PDF/STS/Letters/English/08058_000_notice[1].pdf]Meetinghouse Internet[/url]. But that's only for meetinghouses that do not have an official FHC.

Alan is correct in that the FM groups are under budgeting pressures. Because of that, they may want to hold off on any change that would impact this year's budget and wait until they can add it in as part of the process.
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