How Much Do You Pay For Cable/Internet?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by vertical smile, Feb 9, 2018.


How much do you pay for your cable and internet?

  1. Less that $50

  2. $50 to $99

  3. $100 to $199

  4. $200 Plus

  1. vertical smile, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018

    vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    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.
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    Just to give a more global perspective on this - I'm in Denmark and I pay $41.15 for 50/50Mbps internet. Currency converted.

    What I find interesting here though, is that you talk about how the prices go up after you've been with the same provider for some time - In my case the opposite happens. The longer you're a customer with the same company, the cheaper they make it. They of course also have signup deals to sweeten the deal for brand new customers, but after a long enough while the retention deals are better than the new customer deals
  3. vertical smile thread starter macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    From the poll on the other forum, you would be in the bottom 3% of 39 people that voted on it so far. I think here in the US, the average cost is much higher. Although, you are paying slightly more than what I currently pay for the same speeds.

    There is a problem in the US were there is not enough competition between ISPs. For many people in the US, they have only one choice of ISP, of those people, most of them have Comcast as their only choice for cable and internet.

    So, basically Comcast and the other big ISPs can charge what ever they want, and people just have to suck it up and pay.

    For some lucky people in the US, they have a choice of a few ISPs. For example, I have Comcast and Verizon FiOS in my area.

    This makes it much easier to negotiate cheaper rate, because there is now a choice for me. But, these companies have service plans that have "teaser" intro rate that go up after 6 months, a year, the next year, and so on. Many of these plans come with a contract requiring you to stay with them for two years. So, after the rates go up, you either have to pay, or you can try to negotiate a lower rate, which usually comes with incremental rate increases, and still keeps you in a contract.

    So, when your ISP lowers your rate to keep you as a customer, here in the US, the ISPs raise the rates due to people having little choice of ISPs, or because they are stuck in a contract.

    Another issue is that people are afraid to cancel to service to switch to another ISP. It is a "devil you know" situation (I am not sure if this will translate).
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    .... What? "Devil you know?"

    Yeah - but I also have rental equipment included (I actually have my own modem and router, but I keep their rental system around as a backup because it literally costs me 82 cents per month) and a static IP address which some charge extra for as well, so I consider it quite cheap still :). Also, in the time I've had my current ISP (About 5 years), there's been a total of 2 or 3 times where I've been without service, usually only for an hour or so. That's pretty good I think
  5. vertical smile, Feb 9, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018

    vertical smile thread starter macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    This is much cheaper than over here.

    Comcast Modem Rental Fee - $10
    Verizon FiOS Router Rental Fee - $10
    Verizon FiOS customer owned router maintenance fee - $2.80 for older routers, but free for what they consider a "current" router.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 9, 2018 ---
    "better the devil you know than the devil you don't"
    It is an idiom. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary—used to say that it is better to deal with a difficult person or situation one knows than with a new person or situation that could be worse

  6. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark

    Makes sense with the full quote :)
  7. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    $60 in change for internet access. We use DirecTV Now for TV instead of buying it from the cable co.
  8. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two

    Our cable service is $100 and internet is $76. The rest is taxes. I have a $30 customer loyalty credit (although it's not stated that way).

    We have the Contour service where the DVR can be controlled by a receiver in any room. I do pay rental fees on the main DVR, the receiver and the remotes. I'd have to find something very specialized to be able to replace that equipment.

    My cable modem however is my own. I've never paid rental fees for my modem.

    In our area, it's either Cox Communications or CentryLink. CenturyLink is garbage in every way. We moved to Phoenix in 2000 and got internet service in 2004. But because I put myself on a list to be notified when CenturyLink (Qwest when we moved her) actually ran DSL out to our area (it was not offered at the time) some CenturyLink rep shows up at my door in 2011 to ask if I still wanted DSL!!!

    What?! 11 years later CenturyLink finally gets DSL to my area? After I've been with Cox for 7 years and dropped a home phone in 2006? Forget it!

    Cox has been decent. They always work with me to lower my bill by giving me the new customer pricing whenever they can. My speeds have been increased over time with no change in pricing and the reliability of the service has been very good.

    CenturyLink will drop out if you sneeze.

    My internet is 100 down, the same as the slowest router I have and I have a 1TB data cap each month. Cox has WiFi hotposts everywhere around here (used one last night at the coffeeshop because their WiFi sucks) and that's given my daughter's WiFi only phone service in many, many places.

    At home I have around eight computers and around 8-10 devices accessing the internet. One of those is a server and I have it set up to be accessible anywhere. My Time Machine backups go to the server over the internet. Cox has no issues with any of this stuff.

    Overall I'm comfortable with the price I am paying.
  9. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
  10. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    $50/mo for gigabit fiber.
    $40/mo for PlayStation Vue.
  11. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020


    Jan 31, 2015
    Living in Boston luckily there’s a fair bit of competition between Comcast/Xfinity, RCN, and Verizon/FiOS.

    I pay about $100/month for 200-250mbps internet and expanded cable w/HBO and DVR. Not bad. The Xfinity system is great.

    My parents in CT are limited to one provider and they pay like $200+ for phone, cable, and internet, and they really don’t get much for that. Expanded basic cable, super dated technology/interface, no DVR, and I think the internet is a 100mbps. Such a rip off.
  12. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    No competition for me - I'm in an apartment complex that won't let me put up a dish, no FIOS available and it's too far from the CO for DSL. I'm stuck with Spectrum - now paying the same as I was with Time Warner but getting fewer channels, fewer features (dropped whole-house DVR to save money) and getting 100 Mbps internet compared to the 30 I was getting before. My bill is a little over $170 for TV (with DVR and 2 digital boxes) and internet.
  13. BeeGood macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2013
    Lot 23E. Somewhere in Georgia.
    $115 total:

    $80 for AT&T Fiber (1GB down)
    $35 for DirecTV Now

    I’m in the US.
  14. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
  15. JackieInCo Suspended

    Jul 18, 2013
    I have Comcast and lately the price has slowly been going up. It's about $103 for internet and my local channels only with free HBO. Once the promo expired in another year, I'm cancelling the TV service all together and just keeping the internet since I never watch TV. I only use my ATV2 to watch my purchased TV shows and movies and movies downloaded elsewhere.
  16. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    That's not bad. I currently pay $71.80 for 100/20 with a static IP, and reliable latency. There are certainly cheaper options; one ISP is offering 900/500 for that price but I'm not sure that it runs at full speed all the time!
  17. vkd macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro, 10MB cable internet for US$27
  18. willmtaylor, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

    willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    Internet - SuddenLink 100MBps $60/mo. (no real ISP competition)
    Dish Network - $20/Mo.
  19. vertical smile thread starter macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I think if someone is perfectly happy with the price they are spending on anything, and they have the means to pay, then more power to them...

    I feel really bad for the people that are paying way higher than they could be, but don't know how they could do better, or ones that are scared to make changes.

    One person I was messaging with on the other forum, she wanted to cut back on her 200+ cable/internet bill/phone, but she told me that she was afraid to do so.

    I tried doing my best to explain how I would go about making changes if I were in her situation, but she was afraid that she would be stuck with even higher bills, service that wasn't good, or no service at all.

    She sounded close to making a change in her last few PMs, but I doubt she is going to make any changes, she will keep on paying for services and equipment that she doesn't want nor need.

    This is exactly what her ISP wants in a customer.
  20. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Don't get me wrong! :)

    I'd LOVE to lower my bill. Unfortunately, it is what it is. The competitor to Cox is a hot mess. I probably could pay less going to them but then I'd open myself up to intermittent and inconsistent service. And I know the internet would go down at home when I (or most especially my wife who uses it for school) needs it the most.

    So to have what I have, which isn't even the Gigabit tier for internet (a whole other $$$$ thing), I have to pay the price Cox demands. Sure I could use less, but it wouldn't be what I want and the only place I could bend on that would actually be in the cable service itself - not internet.

    I know the bill is high in comparison to most other people but there really is no alternative in this market.
  21. Volusia macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2016
    Central Florida
    Cut the cord last year, but regretfully, only have one option for internet services. Total bill was $202 per month. We dropped everything except internet and now pay $65 per month for 100 mbps. Using an antenna which picks up the 4 major networks and subscript to Hulu commercial free and Amazon Prime. TV viewing is much better than we had with cable.
  22. vertical smile thread starter macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    Could you switch to the competitor temporarily? I am not sure if Cox works the same way as Verizon FiOS and Comcast, but were I live, 30 days after having your service cancelled, you are considered a "new customer" and you can get the best promotional deals.

    I usually do this with Comcast, as FiOS usually have the best new customer rates. Before my rates go up with FiOS, I cancel and switch to Comcast. I keep them for at least a month, then switch back to FiOS as a new customer.

    If it works for you, this might end up saving you a lot of money over time.

    If you look at the poll I posted on the other forum, you are not alone. 23% of the votes, or 17 people out of 73, pay over $200 a month.

    I did the $ amounts a little different on the other poll, but 73%, or 53 out of 73 people, pay over $130 a month.

    The survey on here is not as popular, nor does it have similar results to the one I posted on the other forum.

    I can understand the difference for people's rates, because this poll is on a tech forum with more informed people on technology. Also, this is a world wide poll, so the numbers could be very different than what I see locally.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 12, 2018 ---
    That sucks. This was me 8 years ago, as I only had Comcast in my area. I still found ways to become a new customer though. It may not have been exactly ethical, but I would do stuff like cancel my cable account, and sign back up a few days later under a different name.

    This worked until I went to do changes to my account, and I used my dog's name for the account. They refused to let me make changes at the face to face customer service, because I didn't have ID.

    This is awesome. You save $140 a month.
  23. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I could, but it would be disruptive.

    The thing is that I go back to a Cox store every so often (once the bill goes higher) and ask them if they can lower my bill.

    I've had the bill as low as $120 before. It requires being a bit flexible with internet speeds but I can handle that for lower prices.

    But they help me every time. I always get what they offer new customers, I just have to ask for it. And I already have a $30 loyalty discount that is permanent so I try to work with them.

    That's one of the reasons I don't scream bloody murder about Cox, because they go out of their way to help me stay one of their customers.
  24. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    A buddy of mine also said that in addition to switching away for 30 days, one can also simply switch to another member of the household on the bill and it will reset promotional pricing. I'm about to do this with and put the account/bill in my wife's name.
  25. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    To add on to my previous post - if YouTube TV offered the one sports station I want for baseball in the summer (subject to blackouts on the service so that won't work) AND had a native app for my LG WebOS TV and Roku TV, I'd jump to that for $35/month. I actually tried it for the 30 day trial, it worked well enough. It would save me quite a bit on my TV/internet bill, the TV equipment fees and DVR service alone cost almost the $35/month of YTTV...

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