I am moving to a new house, and I have a choice to make. Do I break down and get the package from the cable company again? Do I stick with DSL even though it’s slower at the new place? The lack of real choice in fast internet is the biggest hurdle to cutting the cord.
It has been over a year now since I decided to ditch any cable or satellite providers. It has been really great, not only have I saved money but I also tend to only watch things when I want to. Enjoying a few episodes of a particular show in a row is my favorite part of A La Carte viewing. In the mood for Star Trek? Watch three episodes in a row. Cliffhanger of your favorite show? Must watch the next one right now! I know I wouldn’t be giving that up if I got the promotional bundle from the cable company, but I feel like I would be more obligated to watch things that are on, just because they are on right now.
The internet offerings I have to choose from are rather sparse. Mega media conglomerate on one side, and massive telco on the other. There is a real lack of high quality ISP’s to the average consumer. At my current apartment I am lucky enough to have fiber close enough to get a decent speed of 40Mb/s from DSL (it’s really VDSL2). At the new place all they can offer me is 20Mb/s maximum and I doubt it will be that fast due to being farther away from the termination points. The cable company is offering a deal (that goes up after the first 6 months of course), 50Mb/s plus basic cable channels for less than the cost of 50Mb/s without the channels. Of course where this all falls apart is when you realize you want an HD box, and a DVR, and whatever other little charges and fees they can think of on top of that low introductory rate.
There is the consideration that I already own (not lease) a dsl modem, but do not have a cable modem anymore. I am sure I could find one on craigslist or some other way, or there is always the dreaded leasing option. So that adds at least $50-$100 on to the setup cost as well. This would however allow me to decouple my wifi from my router and place it wherever it works best. Right now it works great because in a tiny apartment there is no issues with signal strength.
I will say that the ability to watch the Discovery network might make the deciding factor. I am really disappointed withe the complete lack of ways to watch discovery shows online. There are some shows that have come out on DVD available on Netflix streaming, but not many and not anywhere near up to date. However I would have to get a DVR of some sort to enjoy these shows even if I did have the correct channels available to me.
At the core of the issue is net neutrality. I don’t trust a company that is also a content creator to play fair with everyone. I don’t think the Six Strikes rule is a good idea, and therefore don’t want to support any company that is part of it.
I am going to stick with the DSL for now, it’s half the price even if it’s only 20M/s. I will save some money for now and reconsider if the speed starts to get to me.