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Old 02-24-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: sydney
10 posts, read 36,429 times
Reputation: 14

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Hi

We are moving in the next 3 months to LA from Australia. We have our visas and all the important things sorted so now i have started doing quiet a bit of research into everyday living so its hopefully it is not such a huge move.

My question is what are the main companies for
1. Cell/Mobile phone plans
2. Internet
3. Cable

Are there any sites that compare different plans. For example for australian internet companies there is a site that you put in your post code (zip code) and it list all available internet providers and lists their plans by $ and features etc. There is also a similar one for cell phone plans. Is there any sites like that you could recommend?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:35 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,026,349 times
Reputation: 1884
website for internet comparisons: dslreports.com
DSL coverage depends to some degree on the local phone company, which varies by city, but various companies sell DSL on their own as well. See the website above for availability(most recommended by my friends is dslextreme). Cable internet also depends on your city, but the primary providers are Time Warner Cable, Cox, and Charter. Each city has a provider for cable, and it's typically one of them. Verizon also offers a fiber service called FIOS that is very cost effective for what you get, but they have a limited service area, so don't depend on it being available unless you specifically look for an area wired for it.

Cable TV: Like cable internet, depends on the city(see above for providers). Verizon offers a FIOS TV service to customers wired for FIOS. DirecTV and Dish offer satellite TV.


As far as cell/mobile: Verizon is probably the best, AT&T has good coverage but blows inside buildings outside of major urban/tourist areas(downtown la, downtown long beach, disneyland, etc), Sprint is okay, and TMobile is after them. AT&T and TMobile are the only GSM providers. If you're bringing a GSM phone with you, I would look up AT&T first.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:33 PM
 
Location: sydney
10 posts, read 36,429 times
Reputation: 14
Thank you very much for the reply. Very helpful
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:20 PM
 
Location: West LA
2,318 posts, read 6,839,394 times
Reputation: 1090
For internet and cable I use Time Warner Cable. You can bundle the two together to save a little money, and the internet is super fast cable modem.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,739,113 times
Reputation: 17410
thirty seconds ago I posted to almost this exact same question on the Huntsville forum.

Yes, go with the cable (vs satellite). (I'll just copy and paste)

The problem with directv (satellite) is you have to have a box for each TV (maybe two TVs per box if configured in a certain way). And you pay monthly for each box. Tuning a digital signal with a box is slow; you can't rapidly surf. What are you going to use for internet? DSL?


Plain old analog cable is simple, and you can use splitters to route the cable to any cable ready TV. You can rapidly whip through channels.

Also, that cable service may bundle internet and phone like comcast does. I love that. I have high speed, phone and internet for $99/month for a year. I get broadband throughput over 10 Mbps.

I will never get directv again unless I am absolutely desperate. It sucks.

You want movies? go to Download music, movies, games, software! The Pirate Bay - The world's largest BitTorrent tracker

Besides, does anyone watch TV anymore?
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:42 PM
 
127 posts, read 442,770 times
Reputation: 62
The options are plenty. I prefer Dish Network b/c you can tape a program on their system without paying extra for it and my cable provider now charges for that feature. I think I have Direct now.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:14 PM
 
191 posts, read 512,317 times
Reputation: 79
Take a close look at UVerse from AT&T - I have used it for 6 months and have been very happy.

If it is available in your area, it is very compelling - the quality of satellite at a lower cost. The internet speeds go all the way up to 18mb, and the phone service is as cheap as VoIP but has complete battery backup (lasting a few days) and is on every jack in the home.

The DVR records up to 4 shows at once and the shows can be viewed on any TV, plus it can be managed through the web.

A fully loaded package with HDTV, a second TV, 200 channels, upgraded internet, and a local phone with unlimited LD calling runs $117 for everything (including a current discount promotion) and you get $100 cash back. There is no contract, no install fee, etc. You can combine billing with your AT&T wireless service, which can be iPhone or another 3G device.

http://uverse.att.com



FIOS from Verizon is also a great choice, but I have found the availability to be more limited than UVerse.
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:52 PM
 
830 posts, read 2,504,908 times
Reputation: 380
Something to consider is that satellite television is 100% digital, whereas cable, even digital cable, is a combination of digital and analog. One poster above would never have satellite, personally, my experience with cable providers in the US is terrible and I would go without television before having cable. I have had DirecTV for almost 10 years now, have never had a problem with them, and highly recommend them.

Regarding internet service, I do have cable internet through Time Warner, but it is very spotty. Download and upload speeds change almost daily. It's incredibly frustrating.

I had DSL through Verizon, but I wouldn't recommend it at all. You have to have a landline just to have it, unless you own a home and can get a dedicated line, the speed is slower, and overall you end up paying much more than cable internet, for less service.

Regarding wirelss providers, a lot of people rave about Verizon, but honestly I think it just depends on where you live, where you travel, etc. My girlfriend has Verizon and her service cuts in and out all of the time. I've traveled to places in California where my AT&T had full bars, and my friend's Verizon service wouldn't work at all. And you'll find just the opposite as well. But like the poster above said, if you have a GSM phone, and plan to travel with it, particularly internationally, go with AT&T.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:42 AM
 
6,474 posts, read 10,033,443 times
Reputation: 6325
Quote:
Originally Posted by LASam View Post
For internet and cable I use Time Warner Cable. You can bundle the two together to save a little money, and the internet is super fast cable modem.
Agreed. TWC is the best for internet and cable. I pay about $80 a month, but you may get an INTRODUCTORY rate when you get here.

I like AT&T Wireless. They have towers all over and I hardly ever get dropped calls.
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:29 PM
 
Location: sydney
10 posts, read 36,429 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks for all the posts. Very helpful
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