Jerry is a long time Verizon customer and is wondering if he should change to an unlimited plan from Spectrum for $45 a month. Leo says he'll have to look at the fine print because nobody really offers unlimited anymore without throttling down the speeds after a set amount. So like after 5GB of hotspotting, or 20GB of data, it'll get throttled down to 2G or 3G speeds. And the only real change, since Spectrum uses Verizon, is customer service. It's a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, or reseller.
The state of New York has voted to kick cable provider Spectrum out of the state, after the ISP failed to create a high speed network in rural areas. The company will also have to pay a $3 million penalty, and continue to operate until the New York Public Service Commission finds a company to replace them. New York made a provisional approval of the merger of Spectrum and Charter Communications, but without the rural internet agreement, the state has revoked that approval and kicked them out.
Gloria wants to get rid of her ISP and change her email. Leo says if she's going to get rid of her ISP and its email, Leo recommends going with Gmail first and setting it up to get the email off her old email account. Her ISP is DSL Extreme. Leo says that DSL Extreme is a good provider, but if she's having issues, it may not be their fault. It may be the carrier that DSL Extreme is piggy backing on, which is usually AT&T. They have to allow them to carry it, but they don't really want to share. So they make it difficult.
Cecil has been dealing with issues with Spectrum and he's replaced the router. Can he replace the modem too? Leo says yes. He can buy his own modem and save himself a $10 a month rental charge in the process. He'll want to check with Spectrum to see what routers Spectrum supports, and based on those, he can buy his own. Most support the Surfboard DOCSIS III. There's also the NETGEAR Nighthawk.
Chuck's internet bill started to get really expensive so he's thinking of jumping over to Spectrum. Leo says we should all shop around to get the best deal and then get our ISP to match it. Also, Chuck should play hardball and ask they waive installation fees and upgrade his bandwidth.
The problem he's having is that Frontier won't release his phone number. Leo says that the FCC requires they release it by law. They have to do it within 24 hours. If they don't, he can lodge a complaint with the FCC. Leo also says the Public Utilities Commission should also get a letter.
Dan got a new cable box with Spectrum, but after a week he started to get an HDMI error because his connection has been "compromised." Scott says that the first thing to try is to power cycle the cable box. That will reload all the standard default settings. It could also be a faulty cable. So replacing the HDMI cable could solve the issue. Scott also says that being an older TV, the connection could be choking. Or maybe the HDMI connector could be failing.
David is trying to put his router into bridge mode, but he's having issues doing it. Leo says that if he's using the cable router and modem, they may have disabled the router protocol that would do that. The chatroom agrees. He can't do that with an AT&T UVerse modem. It just won't let him have his own router.
Leo says David is better off going with Spectrum and buying his own DOCSIS 3 modem. Then he can do it himself and have more freedom. UVerse is very strict because of QoS.
Bonnie says there's plenty of internet options here including AT&T, Dish, Time Warner, and Spectrum. She signed up for Spectrum at 100Mbps with no caps for $30. That's only an introductory rate, though. It'll go up a lot more after that has expired. Leo says that's a great deal and that's why you should always ask neighbors what they get and how they like it.
Don is calling to discuss wireless spectrum and the way it is managed. Don doesn't think most Americans really know what's happening with the sale of wireless spectrum. Leo says we own the spectrum, the air above us is property of the American people. But there has to be some way of managing it so everyone doesn't use the same frequencies. So the FCC is chartered by congress, among other things, to manage spectrum. They've determined what radio stations are on what frequencies, and that has worked for almost a hundred years now.