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
Most people have seen the headlines, advertisements, tweets, blogs all with a similar headline to mine — “Cutting the cord”. Generally it refers to people who have ditched cable TV. Unfortunately, every article comes with 500 comments that say “I cancelled cable, and I don’t regret it, I never watched TV anyway.” Congratulations, you cancelled something you weren’t using. How very strategic of you. Perhaps you can also cut off your head for the same reason. Once you get past the idiots, the next wave is the holier-than-thous who say, “No one should ever watch TV anytime, anyplace, anywhere, it’s all crap.” Again, they can join the idiots with cranial extraction. I have no time for either group, and neither have anything to do with what “cutting the cord” is all about.
The primary goal of “cutting the cord” is to be able to generally access whatever you want, whenever you want, without having to pay for things you don’t want. » Read the rest