Silly Comcast (Finding the best price for Internet)
Having the Internet in our home isn’t an option any more, the Internet has become a non-negotiable way of life. With the exception of our (almost) two year old, everyone else in the house uses the Internet for different things. My five year old watches a lot of Netflix in these cold winter months (in warmer weather, he’s outside causing terror); my fourteen year old also uses it for Netflix, although he just purchased his first iPhone and will find new uses for the Internet; my wife is a Facebook and Instagram addict, she catches up on “her” shows a day after they show (she works at 4:30 am daily, and has to go to bed before they begin) and she occasionally does shopping online or even does some blogging; and of course, I use the Internet for all kinds of things including Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, blogging, GAFE, and more. My wife and I do have iPhones with Internet of their own, but we don’t want to use more GB than we have purchased. Through Comcast, we have a seemingly capless 25 gigabit connection to the Internet without any fiber optic connections; and at times the download speed is even better that 25 gigabits.
We don’t watch a lot of TV, and Comcast forced everyone who has TV service to use a “box” if you want TV. Well, that box results in SD (or lower) TV. You’re better of streaming video over a portable device the day after it shows, rather than watching it live on Comcast’s SD feed. You can get HD service…but you have to pay for it. Funny…you have to pay for HD, even though the signal Comcast receives is HD and is turned into SD through their system.
We bought the basic local TV service because some years ago, Comcast made it cheaper to get “basic” television service (i.e. local channels) with Internet than Internet itself costs. I thought for sure that would have changed by now, so I called Comcast.
Nope. If we want Internet at the speed we currently have, with their terrible SD TV channels, the price is $73 a month. If we get “just” Internet, the price is $76 a month.
I kid you not.
Unfortunately, in my town, the only other Internet provider can’t match Comcast’s speed, and thus their price. I have no idea when something like Google Fiber Optic might find its way to our town.
This weekend, I chose to purchased HD TV antennas (indoor) for our house, so we can watch TV (on those rare occasions we watch live TV, such as football–such as today’s Superbowl) in HD. I have removed Comcast’s converter boxes, and in doing so, I have removed yet another remote for each TV (Yes, Comcast doesn’t let you use your own TV’s tuner to access channels…you have to leave your TV on Channel 3 and use their Comcast remote t control your TV).
Our downstairs TV now has a HD antenna, an Apple TV, and a Wii connected to it. Our upstairs TV has a HD antenna, and at some point, I will buy an Apple TV for it. In this way, we can either watch TV, watch something on the Apple TV, or stream our iOS devices to the Apple TV (I do this a lot with Amazon Instant Video, as the Apple TV does not have an Amazon Instant Video channel).
Comcast suggested I could get even a steeper discount if I added phone service. How do you convince people that when you have unlimited cell service, you no longer need a home phone? Eventually each of my boys will have their own cell phone (which I am in NO hurry to provide for them).
I still can’t get my mind around that fact that it’s cheaper for me to get Internet and local channels–which I am no longer going to use–than it is to just buy Internet. Silly Comcast. Make it cheaper for me to just get Internet service. Realize that your future isn’t going to be in providing channels but instead for providing Internet.
There was an article in the local paper today that talked about Comcast’s new cable modems. When you buy their cable modem, it now provides Wi-Fi throughout your house. But it also adds a secondary channel where that same modem provides free Wi-Fi to anyone who has a Comcast account in your neighborhood. It’s simply a second antenna–much like my Apple router has a main channel and a guest channel. But it would seem to me that Comcast would want to let people know that the hardware their customers are paying for is being used to provide Wi-Fi to other Comcast users. And I would think that Comcast would want to give you a discount for being part of their Wi-Fi network providers.
Again, silly Comcast.