cable

What Broadband Options Are Available in My Area?

DSL Extreme

Episode 1825

Ron from Los Angeles, CA

Ron got a notice that DSL Extreme is canceling his internet service in November. They're offering him a service that is more expensive and requires him to subscribe to their internet service. He's currently using DSLExtreme. Leo says that AT&T has to provide DSL Extreme broadband service and it sounds like DSLExtreme is signing off. But Leo says the good news is that there are other options out there, including Starlink. Google Fiber. And others. Check out DSLReports.com for choices in the area.

What Are the Best Streaming Alternatives to Cable?

ROKU

Episode 1798

Art from San Juan Capistrano, CA

Alan cut the cable and is watching TV with an antenna. But what about streaming? Leo says that's called "over the top," and he will need to still pay for internet service at least 100MB down to enjoy streaming in 1080p. Then he'll pay for Netflix and perhaps a second like Amazon Prime. But he can also get live streaming using a service like YouTube TV. Locast.org is a free streaming service, but they bug everyone for a donation of $5 a month. Even with using an antenna though, streaming can make it add up to the point where it starts to make cable look like a pretty good deal again.

Is a cable bundle a good deal?

Spectrum Lifestyle

Episode 1734

Alex from Long Beach, CA

Alex wants to get Spectrum but they are pushing a bundle. Leo says that sometimes it's cheaper to get it with Phone service. But the catch is, the deal is only for the first year, and then the price goes up. So you have to call them a week before the deal expires and threaten to cancel unless they give you a better deal. They will also give you a cable modem and router and there should be an ethernet out connection that you can plug into your own router to split off the data. You want to be sure you have at least 5 MB up for video streaming.

Should I keep FIOS for my internet?

Verizon FIOS

Episode 1718

Dan from New Jersey

Dan's phone contract and his FIOS contract have both expired. So he's thinking what's next. Leo says that if you get good fiber speed, there's nothing faster. It really comes down to how much they charge for the speed you want. And then how much they say it is, vs. how much you are actually getting. $49 for 200MB down is not bad. Gigabit would be even better because it's symmetric (same up/down) for about $60 a month.

What broadband company should I go with for home internet?

Comcast

Episode 1700

Benny from Pasadena, CA

Benny's constant zoom meetings have killed his hotspot's bandwidth caps. Now he has to get internet access at home. Leo says that hot-spotting isn't meant to be your main home internet. It's only for being on the road where you have no access available. You could continue to do it and pay for more bandwidth. Your ISP may charge you less right now. But generally, cellular data costs more than standard internet access. Check out your cable provider. They may work you a bundled deal, but sometimes those aren't the best deals in the long run.

Are Apartment Deals on Cable/Internet a Good Deal?

Spectrum

Episode 1665

Mike from Reno, NV

Mike says a lot of apartment complexes are making deals with cable TV to provide deals on cable TV in bulk. He got free cable because it's included in his rent. Leo says that many apartment buildings are doing that with the internet as well! Leo says it may seem like he's getting it for free, but watch out though, the rent will likely go up next year. And all too often, he can't get out of it and go with another company.

Should I cut the cord for good?

DirectTV

Episode 1664

Micah from Maine

Micah was frustrated with his cable company and left it for DirecTV. But the over the top services are now the same as the cable in terms of price. Leo says that's not by accident. It's by design. You also notice your internet fees are higher as well. Most of us are paying more for data and have bandwidth caps. The irony is, if you go back to the cable company after 30 days, they treat you as a new customer and give you a great deal. But it'll start going up almost immediately. And since most cable companies have a virtual monopoly in a community, there's no competition.