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Old 02-23-2010, 08:47 AM
 
6,764 posts, read 21,040,424 times
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So what are my options? I keep hearing about Skype and other phones you can use via your internet.

I have the Comcast cable bundle because I live in Vermont with very little option (but I will be moving in the near future). We're tired of how high the bill has gotten for phone/tv/internet (cable speed).

We want to keep the cable and dump the phone. We barely get any calls. The trouble is, the only other phones we own are pay as you go cells. If you get a long call, you are 'out of money' quickly.

We're also considering losing the tv--you can watch tv online/rent videos/whatever.

Anyhow, I guess I am just looking for some advice/guidance. Anyone else have Comcast then cut down on service? I wonder what they will charge for just internet?

Thanks for any advice. Meanwhile I will keep on researching.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:19 AM
 
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First you'll have to decide about the TV/cable, what really are you going to do. But before doing anything, while you still have your dependable service, do some research.

As an alternative to your telephone landline you might find an ISP that provides service by lineshare. Lineshare is required for copper carriers (copper being the telephone wires, historically copper and telco's must share, by lease with a data carrier - data being what the Internet really provides).

Verizon and ATT are replacing much of their historic copper service with fiber and they are NOT required to share that fiber facility. So you'll need to determine if your area is copper or fiber. If you have fiber you will know it without research.

If copper, then you might find an ISP that uses a DLEC - Data LEC (most phone companies are ILEC - incumbent LEC - LEC - local exchange carrier). At one time I used Speakeasy Internet, a Seattle WA company with national exposure. They hired COVAD (a DLEC) to lease the copper lines from ATT - lineshare - then provide that Internet service to me. I paid Speakeasy one easy reasonable price for Internet, they paid COVAD for the data line (originally that same copper pair that might have been used for telco).

With that Speakeasy service I also had VoIP for an additional price. Excellent phone service with no charges for long distance and many countries around the world.

As an option, with whatever Internet service (telco, dlec, cable) you can get SKYPE or other VoIP service. With SKYPE you can get your own phone number and pay a monthly fee for the service, or pay by the minute... about 3 cents plus an access fee for each call, a few pennies more. If you have SKPYE on a laptop then you can take your phone service anywhere in the country you choose. YOU WILL NOT HAVE 911 SERVICE WITH SKYPE. That is, you can call 911 but you MUST tell them where you are. They will not know as your location will be your (computer or router) IP address.

You might take a look at Broadband Reports as a part of your research.

Last edited by WillysB; 02-23-2010 at 09:29 AM..
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:05 AM
 
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I would recommend ITP VOIP, I've had them for about a year after reading great reviews and haven't been disapointed, $9.99 a month for unlimited incoming and 500 outgoing minutes, plus the ability to customize your service via their website, voicemail, blacklists, automatic forwarding to another number if you lose power at home, I've been happy with them. VOIP Provider - VOIP Service | ITPVOIP.com
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:41 AM
 
Location: The DMV
5,592 posts, read 9,571,696 times
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Give them a call and see what the single service cost would be - you typically get $10-15 off for multiple services, so you can even just check your bill. Also keep in mind whether or not you're in an agreement ... there may be early termination fees if so.

As for phone - not trying to one up NHDave, but I'd also recommend VOIPO. For research purposes, you can even check out their customer forum - http://forums.voipo.com/ I paid $13 a month for unlimited domestic (international rates not included obviously) - but just recently signed up for a BOGO offer so I got 24 months of service for $200, which is ~$8 a month? They give you a ATA and provide a great interface to do all kinds of stuff (which I'm assuming all services offer these days).

These are obviously not the only ones out there - I'd also follow WillysB's advice of looking at broadband reports for more info on other services.

Also - the other option you have is Verizon Fios if available for Internet. If nothing else, pit Comcast against Verizon and see if they will give you a better price. The only caveat is that neither is stellar with customer service..... I've actually defended VZ on these boards a few times... well - no more after my last experience with them trying to bundle a few products. The product itself is great though.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:57 AM
 
10,838 posts, read 19,973,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macroy View Post
Also - the other option you have is Verizon Fios if available for Internet. If nothing else, pit Comcast against Verizon and see if they will give you a better price. The only caveat is that neither is stellar with customer service..... I've actually defended VZ on these boards a few times... well - no more after my last experience with them trying to bundle a few products. The product itself is great though.
As the OP is in Northern New England there is no verizon in this area, it's Fairpoint, and signing up with them would be akin to jumping off a bridge right now, I recommend everyone stay clear of them.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:03 AM
 
Location: SE Florida
9,368 posts, read 24,047,957 times
Reputation: 9426
Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsySoul22 View Post
So what are my options? I keep hearing about Skype and other phones you can use via your internet.

I have the Comcast cable bundle because I live in Vermont with very little option (but I will be moving in the near future). We're tired of how high the bill has gotten for phone/tv/internet (cable speed).

We want to keep the cable and dump the phone. We barely get any calls. The trouble is, the only other phones we own are pay as you go cells. If you get a long call, you are 'out of money' quickly.

We're also considering losing the tv--you can watch tv online/rent videos/whatever.

Anyhow, I guess I am just looking for some advice/guidance. Anyone else have Comcast then cut down on service? I wonder what they will charge for just internet?

We dropped our landline years ago and have cell phones. $30 for 1000 minutes and a bunch of texts, $45 for unlimited internet access, phone and texts with no contract.

Thanks for any advice. Meanwhile I will keep on researching.
The deals probably vary by regions and definitely differ depending upon who you speak to. We just added internet to my mom's cable and made three calls, getting different prices and specials each time we called.

In my case, I have Comcast basic cable and internet. I pay under $35 a month for both. I called to drop the basic cable (about $11) and was told that internet only would cost around $50 a month.

We dropped our landline years ago and now have a no contract cell phone plan- 1000 hours talk, 1000 texts for $30, unlimited everything, including internet access for $45. I like it BC I can switch back and forth on the plans, depending on my needs.

Last edited by Magnolia Bloom; 02-24-2010 at 09:13 AM..
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:46 PM
 
354 posts, read 524,806 times
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Magic Jack is a good way to go for phone over IP and is by far the cheapest. If you have a lap top it's also portable. It will work anywere you have HSI.
As far as TV. Most areas have a good amount of off air channels. Put up an antanae and see what you get.
Generally it's only a few dollars different to have bundle services than to have just internet. In my area tv/internet is only 5 dollars more than internet by itself.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
14,775 posts, read 29,619,879 times
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I have basic cable and high speed internet through Cox, and it runs about $60 per month. I have no landline, I gave it up because it wasn't being used. I only have a cell phone through T-Mobile. I get 1500 anytime minutes per month for about $43-$44.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:53 AM
 
3,111 posts, read 7,644,249 times
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Yes, as the other poster has said Comcast requires you to have cable to purchase phone or internet.

I was so mad when I moved in their area. I don't like cable, and never had it before. My option with Comcast: Pay $67 for internet only, or pay $67 for cable and internet.

I think I might try ATT next, but their service is slower. I can't afford Comcast anymore.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:47 AM
 
3,650 posts, read 8,761,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsySoul22 View Post
We want to keep the cable and dump the phone. We barely get any calls. The trouble is, the only other phones we own are pay as you go cells. If you get a long call, you are 'out of money' quickly.
So dump the phone and get a cell phone "plan" vs pay as you go.

Quote:
We're also considering losing the tv--you can watch tv online/rent videos/whatever.
If you hardly ever watch, sounds logical. I dumped mine after getting laid off and haven't missed it much. TV is mostly a load of crap IMO and is only getting worse.

FWIW I have internet via "road runner" (I think it's owned by verizon or comcast, not sure) - $30/mo and knock on wood works fine so far. Phone-wise I have a pay as you go cell and "magicjack" which is only $20 for a whole YEAR, all local and long dist included. Downside is connection sometimes is poor, but it's worth it to save the $ - and unlike seemingly almost everyone else in this country now, I'm not into blabbering away on the phone 24/7. I prefer to pay attention to where I'm actually at and who I'm actually with at the time. Weird that way.
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