On a local community forum that I frequent, there are many recent posts complaining about water bills, and energy bills. The county I live in raised rates on water, along with new fees in the last quarter, and with the really cold weather, people's energy bills have increased a lot. Along with these posts, there were people giving advice on how to reduce their water consumption, and energy use. These tips, while effective, would only have a very small effect on these ever increasing bills. I decided to post a poll asking how much people were spending on their cable/internet bills, and I posted my own tips on how I saved thousands of dollars over the past 8 years on my ISP and entertainment costs. I was very surprised about the results and comments people left. I figured I would post a poll on here as well, and post my tips and experiences dealing with my local ISPs. They are just copied directly from the other website, so some of the stuff I just mentioned is repeated. Just keep in mind, that the following posts were geared toward the general public, and not for tech savvy people that you might find in this forum. --- Post Merged, Feb 9, 2018 --- This is the first post I copied over: There has been many posts from people complaining about their electric/energy and their water bills. While there are things you can do to reduce those bills, read below for tips on how you could greatly reduce your cable/internet bills. I recently had a conversation with my father about how expensive my parents’ FiOS bill is. This was not the first time that this conversation took place, but I feel like this time, he will take my advice and finally cut the cord. This made me think about how many other people that are out there paying too much for cable/internet services that they will never use. I think that Cable/ISPs take advantage of people using things like contracts, incremental price increases, and talking their customers into services that they do not need or would ever use. My current rate for FiOS is $39.99, bottom line rate, as in after all the equipment rental charges, fees, and taxes. This is for a contract-free, internet only plan, 50 Mbps download and 50 up. I own all of the needed equipment, so there are no rental charges for them. I also have Netflix-family plan, and the Hulu-commercial free plan. I occasionally get HBO or Showtime to catch up on shows, then I cancel them. All total, my ISP/TV costs are usually about $65 a month, or $80 for the months I have HBO or Showtime. I know there are people paying $200 a month for their Cable/Internet. If they are happy with this, then have at it, but if you think your cable bill is too much, there might be things you can do to lower your rate. Here are some tips on for anyone wanting to save on their cable/internet costs. Switch often between Comcast and FiOS to always be considered a new customer and get the low new customer rates. Do this before automatic rate increases take effect (12 months usually). Avoid contracts, especially ones that include automatic rate increases (FiOS does this a lot). Buy your own equipment such as Cable Modems and Routers to avoid high rental costs. Get internet only plans, as TV and bundles come with equipment rental fees which could be $40+ for medium sized families. Look for alternatives for TV services (Direct TV Now, Sling, PS Vue), as these work on devices you might already own like Apple TVs, Fire Sticks, Game Consoles, and Smart TVs. Don’t over spend for internet speeds that you will never need. I currently use 50 Mbps download speeds for FiOS. This is fast enough for 10 TVs to simultaneously stream Netflix in 1080p. 4K requires a much faster speed, but it is still fast enough to stream 4K on two TVs. If you are using Netflix, web browsing, and gaming, you DO NOT need Gigabit internet speeds. Check often for better deals from the ISP you don’t currently have. FiOS currently has a special for 100Mbps speeds for $39.99/month for a year, contract-free for new customers. Anyone with Comcast should jump on this offer, as I am sure it is probably better than what most Comcast customers currently have. Take advantage of free month offers for HBO/Showtime. You can catch up on all your favorite shows, then cancel right after. I use the tips above ever since FiOS was offered at my home, and it has saved me thousands of dollars over the years. If you only have Comcast in your area, there is very little you can do, as you are at the mercy of them. But some of the tips will save you money. --- Post Merged, Feb 9, 2018 --- This was another post answering some questions for people, it has a lot of good info in it, so I figured I would post this too: Someone asked in a PM about switching ISPs. I have done it over a dozen times, and here is my experience with it. Around 8 years ago, FiOS moved into my area, and I was finally given an alternative to Comcast. Since then, I have switch my service over a dozen times. Switching allows me to always get the best rates available. When my promotion was over, or when rates were about to increase, I would try to negotiate with whatever service I was with, and this worked at first. Comcast would sometimes meet me have way, but Verizon never did. Instead they would let me switch to Comcast, let me cancel my service, and then Verizon’s “Elite Retention Team” would call me, that is what they call themselves, not a name I gave them. They would then try to negotiate a deal, which was usually a good deal, but I told them that they should have talked to me before I canceled, not after. So, I never took them up on the deal. Now, I no longer bother negotiating a lower rate, I just cancel my service. But, before I cancel, I set up my new service! This was you are never without service Example: If I am currently with Comcast, and it is time to switch, I setup an install with Verizon FiOS before canceling. After my new service is up and running, I cancel the old one. If you do not have rental equipment, both companies will let you cancel your service the same day as you call. As for setting up new service, Comcast is super easy if you have your own Modem. It takes less than 10 minutes, and there is no need to call anyone, as you can do it right from your computer. You just use their website, select what service you want, select the option saying you have your own modem, then set up a new account and login information. After that, plug in your cable modem to your computer, the cable line, and the power. Go to a web browser, and Comcast’s webpage will pop up asking for your username and password. Type it in, and you are good to go. Verizon is supposed to be as easy, but every time I try to switch to them, there seems to be an issue that prevents me from doing a self-install. I end up setting up an appointment for a tech to come out, and the last time this happened, the self-install worked about 30 minutes before the appointment time. If you do not own your own equipment, or if you are not very good with stuff like cable modems and routers, it might be better for you to just stick with an appointment for a tech to come out and install your new service. I am thinking of switching to Comcast’s new deal that they came out with a few days ago, 25Mbps downloads for $29.99 a month, for 12 months, contract free. Maybe if I do, I will take some screen shots showing how easy it is to sign up for their service and do a self-install.