Why ditch cable TV?
Traditionally, households purchased internet bundled with a cable TV package, from a diversified telecom company. These TV plans became increasingly high-tech, giving customers not just a dizzying array of channels but also a box allowing them to pause, rewind and record live TV and to access a bank of pay-per-view films. But once we got hooked on on-demand content, we wanted more. A range of streaming services came to the rescue, first with a menu of movies but eventually entire TV series and finally original content, which quickly competed with and outpaced fare from the networks and HBO.
Now the way we view television has irrevocably changed. We’re no longer content to flip through channels in a desperate search of something to watch, before settling on a sitcom rerun or an old game show, broken up by commercials. Instead, we’re queuing up our favorite shows on streaming platforms and bingeing entire seasons of shows in one weekend. We’re also relying more on our laptops, tablets, and cellphones to view content than our television sets, although we can access streaming platforms straight from our TV.
And as more streaming services launch can’t-miss content, our monthly subscription costs are going up. Many are looking to cut costs by ditching their cable plan. It’s called cutting the cord and it could save you money and ensure you only pay for the content you want to watch.
Reasons to Cut the Cord
Let's take a closer look at why you might want to cut the cord:
- save money: The average monthly cost of a cable TV plan is a staggering $107. And on top of that, you’re probably already paying for at least one streaming service. Reduce your monthly outgoings by scrapping the pricy cable plan you rarely use. According to a 2018 survey from Consumer Reports, the high cost of cable is the most common reason people give for cutting the cord.
- view the content you want, when you want it: Instead of paying for tens or even hundreds of channels you have no interest in, subscribe to a streaming platform which delivers your favorite shows—instantly, whenever you want, without having to consult a TV schedule or wait until Thursday night.
- buzz-worthy television has migrated online: Streaming platforms are leaving ABC, CBS, NBC, and even prestige cable channels far behind, producing a deluge of can’t-miss shows, from Netflix’s Stranger Things to Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale. The only problem is trying to keep up and still get enough sleep.
- no contracts: While internet and TV bundles usually lock you into a one- or two-year contract, Netflix and its like are sold on a month-to-month rolling subscription. When you’ve exhausted one platform of all its content, you can theoretically cancel. But good luck pulling the trigger—they’re constantly rolling out more content to keep you watching.
- don’t miss out on live TV: Services like Roku and Sling can provide cord-cutters with access to some live TV channels, so you don’t have to miss out on your favorite morning talk show or the cable news network of your political persuasion.
How to Get Internet without Cable TV
While TV and internet bundles are common, they aren’t requisite. Many internet providers will sell you an internet plan without a TV package tacked on. This includes DSL, cable, fiber, and satellite providers.
To find a standalone internet plan, use our search engine. Tell us your ZIP code and we’ll return a personalized list of cheap internet
plans and providers available in your area. A number of these will deliver just internet, without TV attached.
Just make sure you’re getting a fast enough connection to accommodate all the streaming you’re going to be doing. Cord-cutters will want a connection with a minimum download speed
of 100Mbps, which means you should be looking at cable or fiber plans.
Why ditch your landline phone?
When was the last time you received a call on your landline that wasn’t from your dentist or your great aunt? For the majority of Americans with cellphones glued to their hands, a landline telephone is superfluous. It’s an additional monthly cost, a target for telemarketers, and a great way to miss important calls. That’s why more than half of us have already unplugged it from the wall and given our great aunts our cell phone numbers.
How to Get Internet without a Phone Line
Older internet technologies dial-up and DSL are delivered over the copper wires of the landline phone network. Therefore the first internet plans were sold alongside landline calling. Many of us have continued unwittingly subscribing to a landline phone service as a line item on our internet bills, even as the number of calls we make on that service has dwindled.
Cable, fiber, and satellite internet technologies bypass the landline phone network entirely and are often sold without calling. But you can also buy a DSL plan without landline calling too. It’s called standalone, or naked, DSL.
If your cell phone reception is adequate at home, you can also use the wireless network for internet connectivity, although be aware that speeds are limited and data limits strict. But you don’t have to jump to wireless to get the internet without a phone line.