Over the last five blog posts, I’ve detailed my changes as I cut the cord. Here is the list of changes, and you’ll quickly see what prompted the commitment to make drastic alterations to my setup, mostly triggered by conversations with a few key friends and family members who got me thinking about alternatives, even though many of them haven’t done this yet themselves!
The other posts give you the details, blow by blow, etc. This just shows the bottomline. How much did I save?
Internet: From Rogers to TekSavvy, same basic setup, slightly less than “unlimited” but faster speeds, $80 a month to $55 a month, $200 in hardware, $100 saved in first year, $300 saved ongoing;
TV: From Rogers to Kodi, streaming through internet instead of cable box, much more manual, $85 a month to $0 per month, $300 in hardware the first year, $700 saved the first year, $1000 saved ongoing;
Home phone: From Rogers to Ooma, VOIP instead of landline, slightly reduced quality, $40 a month to only $4 a month, $125 for hardware, $325 saved this year, $450 saved ongoing;
Cellular: Stayed with Rogers, tweaked package, better service, no change in cost; and,
Internet hosting: From Netfirms to GreenGeeks, same or better service, $15 a month to $5 a month, no hardware costs, saved $120 per year ongoing.
When people cut the cord, most just look at TV, internet and home phone. Some add in cellular. For me, there was a fifth area — internet hosting of my websites. Yes, you read that correctly. Plural.
After a redesign about two years ago, I had PolyWogg.ca set up as my “personal” site. ThePolyBlog.ca was my more “professional” site, writing and musings about more formal topics. I also host AstroPontiac.ca for a board I sit on. And within polywogg.ca, I also had sub-sites for photos, calendars, to do lists, etc. Most of the sites were fully integrated with my photo site cross-linked to my personal and professional sites so that I can post my media there without duplicating it in WordPress. I’ve messed around with my site design going back to 1998, seventeen years of tweaking etc. The latest tweak was creating a new subsite for astrophotography blogging and pics.
I’ve already covered my efforts to cut the cord for internet (Cutting the cord – Part 1 – Internet), TV, and home phone. Next on the list is cellular service. As with the first internet one, this isn’t about eliminating cell service completely, it’s about reviewing your packages and finding ways to get more service for the same price or, more often than not, the same service for less money.
In the cell market in Canada, you have the two biggies — Rogers and Bell. They fight it out, they gouge everyone, the CRTC slaps them, they reset, they duke it out some more. Generally speaking, our cell costs are much higher than anywhere else in the world. According to an OECD report based on comparable 2013 data across 34 countries, we’re the most expensive for data only plans and top ten for data and phone. Not surprisingly, that puts us dead last for number of wireless subscriptions per capita. » Read the rest
As I mentioned in Part 1 (Cutting the cord – Part 1 – Internet), there are five main areas for people looking to “cut the cord”: internet, TV, home phone, cellular phone and website hosting. Of all of them, the one that people are the most bothered by but least likely to do anything about is the home phone.
I grew up with Bell. And I was a long-time victim, err, customer of Bellopoly. I had some perverse pleasure when my wife (then girlfriend) and I moved in together as it meant only paying Bell once between us. One of those cost savings that you actually are gleeful about, in a strange way.
When the CRTC forced Bell to deregulate some of their offerings, other companies popped up to offer home phone service but the prices weren’t that much better and it wasn’t a strong incentive to switch. People relied on their home phone, an essential service you needed to work, and not something you messed with…you paid Bell their monthly extortion, and you grumbled, but you didn’t do anything about it. » Read the rest
As I mentioned in Part 1 (Cutting the cord – Part 1 – Internet), the core focus of the “cutting the cord” movement is on reducing costs and unbundling things to make them as cheap as possible. There’s a strong element of “freedom” in there, not unlike writers going the self-publishing route, people growing their own food, running businesses out of their house through the power of the internet, ordering glasses over the internet, etc. A lot of it is thumbing the nose at the established monopolies to say, “Well that may be how you THINK we should do it, but I can do it myself now, and I don’t need you.”
Of the five main areas (internet, TV, phone, cellular and hosting), by far the biggest focus is on cable TV. As I mentioned in the previous blog, I’m not talking about people thumbing their noses at TV because they think it is rotting people’s brains or they didn’t watch it to begin with, it is about how you consume TV and whether you get it from a monopolistic provider or if you get it some other way that is (likely) cheaper. » Read the rest