Save a Buck : Cutting the Cord in Lake Heritage

Contributed by the Webmaster

It is difficult to cut the cord in Lake Heritage. Of course how do you define “cutting the cord”? If you mean taking your home off the Internet grid, removing any kind of physical connection whatsoever, that is almost impossible. In Lake Heritage the major providers of Internet service are Comcast/xFinity and CenturyLink. Comcast/xFinity offer the residential home owner great Internet speeds and bandwidth but CenturyLink’s speeds are extremely slow, not fast enough to support media streaming (or barely). By the way, despite great prices and speeds, know full well that Century Link within Lake Heritage will always report “Speed may not be available in your area.” Never, never, never assume that Century-Link will offer you their best packages in this area.

 

Results of a speed test using Comcast/xFinity in Lake Heritage. These speeds are excellent for media streaming.

As you can see, you get 3 megabits per second with Century Link within Lake Heritage. Compare this to 175 megabits per second with Comcast/xFinity. Why anyone has Century-Link Internet service is beyond me.

Both services really want a captive customer base and offer great deals for an introductory period. After that, the rates sky rocket. Both ratchet up their bills with regularity for one reason or another. Both love contracts to bind the customer to the service for a long time and both make it very difficult to unbundle the triple play of telephone, Internet and TV programming. Using their what the market will bear algorithm, it is cheaper to buy the bundle than it is to separate the bundle into its constituent parts and pay a la carte.

So, if cutting the cord is impossible for now (5G may be a factor in a few years), how do you save a buck?

You will have to make some hard choices and have a less streamlined media delivery if you want to save a buck. You can opt for Comcast/xFinity Internet which has great speeds in the $90 to $100 range but there’s the telephone and TV package that goes missing. You can use your cell phone as a house phone (there really isn’t much of a difference other than the size of the device) but you will not have a bunch of cordless phones scattered around the home. There are services and devices that mitigate this inconvenience such as Ooma, Vonage and the Magic Jack but honestly, you will not have the same seamless service that you have with the big, expensive “big three” bundle. So, what’s it worth to you?

Next you will want to replace the TV package. Century-link partners up with a satellite provider and Comcast/xFinity have various TV/Movie media packages. If you are not a heavy TV watcher but want the local stations and about 45 more channels, you have YouTube TV (not YouTube). This is a Google product and goes for about $50 per month. It works using the Internet and you will need one adapter like a Roku for each TV. It plays well on any other device like you cell phone, tablet or laptop but it looks great on your TV. Expect a picture roughly equal to what you see using satellite or cable but not nearly as many channels. There are other services like YouTube TV but this Google service is strong in the Harrisburg area and has a much larger channel selection competitors. Many people also watch Amazon’s Prime Video and Netflix so, your media selection is far from Spartan.

This is an actual monthly Comcast/xFinity bill. It is not subject to constant and relentless increases. It is ONLY for Internet services, not for telephone or TV programming. There is no contract pending.

Other than force of habit and perhaps lower prices, I have no idea why anyone stays with Century-link if they only want Internet service. Speeds barely support streaming.

So how much will you save? If you opt for Comcast/xFinity internet with great speeds (pick the second from the top at about $90/month), Google YouTube TV at about $50/month and use your cell phone as your home phone, you will probably pout about $60 to $80 per month in your pocket. In addition, unbundled Internet service is not subject to the insidious and constant rate hikes. By the way, buy your own modem. Why pay $10/month for someone else’s?

 

I am not an employee of any of the companies mentioned above, have no ax to grind and merely state the possible. No one will hold your hand. You do need a dash of tech savvy to do this.

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