The rates for customers will go up an average of $3 a month. In addition, the cost to rent a modem went from $3.95 to $5.99 a month. Time Warner only last year started charging the modem fee.
What are the choices if you want to jump ship?
If you do not want to bundle with television or phone service, there’s only one other major choice: Frontier. It offers home Internet service over its landline phone network. Speeds can be slower, though there are technologies that are boosting copper speeds.
Dish and DirecTV require a television subscription. Earthlink is an option, but a quick check of prices don’t indicate huge savings over Frontier or Time Warner. The dish services and Earthlink use the lines from your local phone and cable companies.
Greenlight Networks is a local startup, but its geography is very limited. Also, it’s plans start at $50 a month, more than I pay now.
AT&T and Verizon offer wireless Internet options, but they are expensive, often have data caps, and slower speeds. (People with smartphones pay for the Internet twice – for mobile and home use. I’ve long wanted one Internet bill.)
I pay $37.99 (pre-rate hike) a month for Time Warner’s “lite” Internet service. I do not have cable television. I’d like to keep my bill under $50 a month, but I’m not sure how much longer that will be feasible. Sure, I can switch providers to find better deals, but that’s a pain in the neck. Every time a promotional period runs out, I’d have to go back to market.
As more of us cut the cord, the giant telecoms and cable providers will find a way to make up that cash. That’s why our broadband bills will keep going up.
Some wonder if the Internet should be regulated as a utility. Think about this fact: Time Warner, which raked in more than $21 billion last year, has 700,000 subscribers in the Buffalo and Rochester markets. I’m not sure how many of those are businesses. But the Western New York market has 875,000 households. That’s an astounding market penetration. Does this mean Time Warner is the best choice or the least worse option?
Links of the Day:
– A Buffalo News columnist calls for a metro school district. Donn Esmonde points out reform models don’t take into account the importance of economic diversity.
– Eighty-six percent of Pittsford graduates go to four-year colleges. In poorer districts, fewer than half do.
– Forty percent of the University of Rochester’s Simon School students are from other countries.
– Ankle monitors give a false sense of security. They simply produce too much data for law enforcement to reasonably check.
– Important read on why the government crackdown on leaks threatens the public’s right to know. Confidential sources are crucial to journalism.