How to save money & maintain connectivity when cutting the cable TV cord

The motivation to cut the cable TV cord in your home usually starts with paying the carrier bill for internet and TV services and seeing the cost rise to around $250 per month. Additionally, the household may subscribe to additional streaming video services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, bringing the total monthly cost to around $300 per month. And then there are the cell phone bills to pay!

So the question becomes: Is there a way to preserve the internet connection and leverage subscription video streaming services to cut the cable TV cord, while reducing monthly expenses for overall video and internet services?

Let’s start with high-speed internet connectivity as that is a prerequisite for cutting the cable TV cord. Carriers such as Verizon, Altice Optimum, Spectrum and Comcast provide Internet connectivity to homes in the Meadowlands service area. If you are a new customer to their network, these carriers will offer standalone internet packages in the $40-50 per month range for the first twelve months before paying the regular monthly price for standalone internet starting in year two. Depending on the internet speed, you can plan on spending $100 per month for high-speed internet to the home after the first year from most carriers.

There is an important difference between internet services provided by Verizon FIOS versus the traditional cable TV providers and that is in the support of public WIFI hotspots. As part of the Cable WIFI Alliance Altice Optimum, Spectrum and Comcast have two WIFI radios in their routers installed in customer homes. One is for the customer private WIFI network and the second is for a public WIFI hotspot for use by cable subscribers.  When leaving your home, your smartphone can access the cable WIFI hotspots for internet connectivity, saving cellular data charges.

Furthermore, an Optimum internet customer in New Jersey can use Spectrum WIFI hotspots in New York City or Comcast hotspots in Philadelphia using their Optimum credentials. There are cellular providers such as Republic Wireless that offer unlimited ‘cellular talk and text’ plans starting at $15 plus $5 per Gigabyte of 4G LTE data per month.

With ubiquitous public WIFI hotspots offered by the cable companies, one can significantly reduce cell phone costs through reduced cellular data usage and apply some of those savings to streaming video services. Because of their cellular offerings, Verizon does not offer public WIFI hotspots with their FIOS internet services.

The importance of accessing local TV channels in your home will influence how the internet service is ordered from the carrier. Carriers bundle in basic local TV channels and voice services with internet service, often at a cheaper monthly rate than standalone internet service. Other options for accessing local TV channels include deploying a digital TV antenna or the use of cable cards, which eliminates the need for renting TV Set Top appliances from the carrier. Some streaming video service providers such as DirecTV Now, Hulu, and Sling TV now offer local channels.

A large benefit to cutting the cable TV cord is the elimination of equipment costs for renting DVR/Set-top boxes from carriers, particularly if there are multiple TVs in the home. Most streaming video providers offer cloud-based DVR solutions and DVR/set-tops can be replaced by one-time investments in streaming media players, such as Roku, that average $30 per TV. Other streaming players on the market include Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

There is a multitude of streaming video service providers in the marketplace that differentiate themselves based on package content with subscription pricing ranging from $6 per month for Hulu with ads to $90 per month for T-Mobile TVision Home. Magazines such as Consumer Reports are a great resource that summarize the packages as well as the price when selecting video streaming providers.

Wireless providers such as AT&T now offer a WatchTV video streaming service at no charge for premium and unlimited wireless subscribers. Verizon Wireless has the FIOS mobile application that offers data-free streaming of video content to their smartphones for users that also subscribe to FIOS services.

Cutting the cable cord can reduce internet and TV expenses by 40-60% per month depending on selected video streaming services that are subscribed to, plus one-time expenses per TV in the home for streaming media players. Significant savings in monthly cell phone charges can also be realized by leveraging a carrier that supports public WIFI hotspots or using alternate wireless providers that deliver cell phone service over the internet as well as over the cellular network.

Joseph Gomes is the founder and owner of the MAG Techgroup, whose mission is to provide every small business access to their own IT department without the cost. More information can be found at: magtechgroup.com

James Piccione is an account executive at Safari Solutions with over 20 years’ experience in IT sales, IT sales financing and sales management. He has a proven track record of establishing and maintaining long term business relationships to meet strategic goals. More information can be found at: safari-solutions.com

Peter Krautle is a managing partner at Louisa Voice. With over 35 years of experience in the management and delivery of computing and network technologies, Peter leads the Louisa Voice team in building office phone systems for practices, enterprises and corporations. More information can be found at: louisavoice.com

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Meadowlands Magazine

Meadowlands Magazine

Meadowlands Magazine, the official publication of the Meadowlands Chamber and its affiliate organizations, has proudly served the business community of the Meadowlands region for over 40 years. We are among largest business magazine in New Jersey (second by circulation) and offer prime visibility opportunities for businesses to connect with potential customers. Joe Garavente is the director of publications and communications for Meadowlands Media and the Meadowlands Chamber. He oversees editorial, advertising, distribution and production.

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