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Fighting the Cable Rate Hikes

Contributed by mm | February 19, 2004 1:01 PM PST

This Fool.com story quoted a USAToday study showing the price increase by different cable/satellite providers:

DirecTV: 3.0%
EchoStar: 1.7%
Comcast: 5.4%
Time Warner Cable: 4.9%
Cox Communication: 3-4%
Cablevision: 3.2%

This article echoes lots of my personal love-hate feelings about my service providers.

I currently subscribe to Comcast Cable (Gold Package) and Broadband Internet. On top of the Broadband Internet, I used Vonage as my land line. I love the fast Internet connections I enjoy, and by using Vonage I really saved some money.

However, I am always annoyed by the regular Comcast rate hike. (Comcast is dominant in the state of Washington so its rate hike here is more than the national average.) I do seriously consider to make a change to save some bucks, but I found myself locked in the current setting:

1) If I only change the cable (satellite providers seem to be a value-play for me), I can save maybe $10 to $15 per month, but I need to pay $10 more for the Comcast Broadband Internet (I'm saving $10 now because of multi-product discount).

2) I cannot move both cable and broadband Internet to satellite -- the price of satellite based Internet access is prohibitively high.

3) If I switch broadband Internet only, the only meaningful choice is DSL. But my land line is already on top of broadband Internet, and I cannot have DSL unless I switch phone to a normal Baby Bell company.

4) Regarding land line, I didn't see better value than Vonage. I cannot tolerate higher fees from Baby Bell companies.

So, it seems if I need to change something, I need to change all three things at once, and I probably will not be much better off. This is not something I have time and energy to do now. Therefore, I'm settling for the current combination, for now.

(BTW, if you want to try out Vonage, give me an email and I can sign you up thru the Vonage referral program: both you and I will get one month's of free service. I promise to respond within 1 business day.)

This Post Has Received 1 Comment. Share Your Opinions Too.


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