Cutting the Cord

For a couple of years, we had been paying upwards of $225/month combined for television, internet and phone service. There had to be a better way. This week, we finished cutting the cord.

We had been DirecTV customers for a few years, after Time Warner (now Spectrum) couldn’t deliver consistent TV service. DirecTV proved more reliable, but we were still paying $120/month for basic service. I was mildly irritated when the retention rep threw discount offers my way when I called to disconnect. Providers should instead call customers proactively to offer incentives to stay; that would be a better model.

For TV content, we are going with Sling for premium content and Tablo for basic channels. Tablo is a neat DVR that hooks directly up to an over-the-air (OTA) antenna for HD-quality local channels. I mounted a nice antenna in our attic and oriented it to the TV towers in town.

We’re also using Hulu for some additional content, at $11/month.

Spectrum is the only decent high-speed internet provider in our neighborhood; we don’t yet have access to AT&T Uverse or Google Fiber. After switching to DirecTV for TV service, we still had phone and internet with Spectrum, and were paying a little more than $100/month just for that bundle. After changing phone providers, Spectrum of course raised our internet cost to an unbundled rate, $70/month.

There are a plethora of home phone providers available, and the valuable ones offer a VoIP service that uses your existing Internet connection. We don’t use our home phone much, but wanted to keep it as a backup. The landline provider we chose offers a nationwide unlimited-inbound, 500-outbound minutes plan for $10/month. In order to hold at that rate, we had to accept a different phone number as opposed to transferring our existing one, but we were OK with that.

In the end, we went from $225/month to about $140/month in recurring cost. That’s a roughly 35%/month savings! Now I’m eager for some internet competition to enter our neighborhood so Spectrum will stop gouging us.

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One Response to Cutting the Cord

  1. Alan Winters says:

    I love it. I don’t have the courage yet, but poverty is beckoning bravery

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