The Wall Street Journal has a delightful column about breaking up with cable. Cutting the cord. Going Internet-only. Excerpt:
I’ve changed over the years. I’m hardly at home. And when I am, it’s not live television I’m watching. It’s stuff that’s been queued up on my DVR for weeks. But mostly, when I’m on my couch with a remote in my hand, I’ve been…streaming.
I’m quitting you, cable.
This will go easier if we can just admit it: We’re not right for each other anymore.
I took a big step toward cutting the cord by subscribing to only basic cable plus HBO. (I’m thrilled HBO GO is arriving for Time Warner customers – one less reason to DVR.)
I’m starting to wonder, however, if the concept of cord-cutting is a false choice. In order to stream all this great content, you need the Internet, right? You need pretty fast and reliable Internet. Broadband costs anywhere from $30-$60 a month, depending on promotions.
You might be able to lop off $50-$100 from your monthly bill by cutting cable TV, but you can’t ditch the Internet. Time Warner and other cable companies know it, which is why they’re positioning themselves as broadband companies that do TV on the side. Kind of like how Netflix wants to stream and do DVDs on the side.
Complicating matters is the fact the Internet is meant to be mobile. My dream is to have one low-cost Wi-Fi bill for my phone and home. Right now, I pay about $50 for a data-capped phone plan that includes tethering and $45 to Time Warner for home broadband. That’s $105 a month, before taxes, on Internet. So much for reducing my TV bill. (Mi-Fi’s begin to address this, but they are still on somewhat slower over-the-air networks and the cost of entry can be high.)
Consumers will ultimately have more choice and pricing tiers as Internet TV gains a larger foothold. But we’ll always need broadband and I’m convinced we’re replacing one bill with another.