Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
deikel
Posts: 1141
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by deikel »

Spectrum just unilaterally bumped my Internet pricing up by 33% and I am now paying more then I want to for a speed I don't need.

As expected, their phone service is oblivious and they don't care since they are a monopolist, apparently that is the new lowest rate (and lowest speed).

Is there an alternative way to get reasonably reliable Internet service for lowest dollar possible ? I had 2 mbs down and 1 mbs up, which was plenty fast for my need - so its not about any speed for me, just minimal cost is the target.

Any ideas what alternatives exist ?

Somewhat related, I don't understand why everyone talks about rural America needing high speed internet, my 2/1 was perfectly suitable for web, email, Netflix, youtube ect - why is everyone after the 'crazy fast speed internet' - when is that actually needed? The new service they assigned to me is 20/2 mbs and I see little difference other then websites load a little faster....

Any help/ideas/thoughts appreciated - I am in Upstate NY if that makes a difference
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.
GrowthSeeker
Posts: 884
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 10:14 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by GrowthSeeker »

AFAIK, it typically takes a good 3 or 4 Mbps (Mega bits per second) to see good video. But more importantly, if there are several devices using the same connection, they each need some of the bandwidth. Netflix allows you to select the data quality (so if your connection is relatively slow you can still usually watch), but probably not all video on all websites does that.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5974
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by JoeRetire »

There are always alternatives. They are always very location-specific and are usually much slower than the dominant local cable operator. If you don't care about speed, perhaps it won't matter.

Try: https://www.google.com/search?q=interne ... in+my+area

This might help: https://www.highspeedinternet.com/ny/albany
Last edited by JoeRetire on Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
User avatar
dual
Posts: 680
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:02 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by dual »

Ideas:
  • 1. telephone company. I get my internet from AT&T
    2. If your neighbors are reasonably close, share your connection and split the price. This could be done with a powerful enough wifi signal or by hardwiring. It will require some network savvy to split the signal so your neighbor cannot access your local network but some online research will show you how to do it.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5974
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by JoeRetire »

dual wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:30 pm Ideas:
  • 1. telephone company. I get my internet from AT&T
    2. If your neighbors are reasonably close, share your connection and split the price. This could be done with a powerful enough wifi signal or by hardwiring. It will require some network savvy to split the signal so your neighbor cannot access your local network but some online research will show you how to do it.
#2 is almost always prohibited by your agreement with your home internet provider.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
02nz
Posts: 5682
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by 02nz »

Whether there are reasonable alternatives vary a lot by area. Where I live Spectrum is the only provider of residential high-speed internet, so if you're in a similar situation then you don't really have a choice.

However, I have gotten better pricing by simply canceling and signing up as a new customer. I switch the name on the account to a different member of the household but even that may not be necessary. I did this with another provider in the past in another area. Getting internet service is very quick so this meant no more than maybe half an hour interruption of service for around $25/mo of savings.
Topic Author
deikel
Posts: 1141
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by deikel »

GrowthSeeker wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:24 pm AFAIK, it typically takes a good 3 or 4 Mbps (Mega bits per second) to see good video. But more importantly, if there are several devices using the same connection, they each need some of the bandwidth. Netflix allows you to select the data quality (so if your connection is relatively slow you can still usually watch), but probably not all video on all websites does that.
We are three in the household and watch on TV screen, PC screen and Tablet as well as cell phone (max three at any given time of course), Netflix buffers very, very well and we can all watch with no issue at 2/1 - granted its not 4k, but perfectly fine

I think people actually need less then they realize
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.
Topic Author
deikel
Posts: 1141
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by deikel »

dual wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:30 pm Ideas:
  • 1. telephone company. I get my internet from AT&T
    2. If your neighbors are reasonably close, share your connection and split the price. This could be done with a powerful enough wifi signal or by hardwiring. It will require some network savvy to split the signal so your neighbor cannot access your local network but some online research will show you how to do it.
Nice idea, I tried that last year when the neighbors moved in and needed Internet for a couple of weeks until their service was working - alas, its too far away - we are rural indeed. Even at max power setting of my wifi router, they could not see my guest network
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.
Topic Author
deikel
Posts: 1141
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by deikel »

JoeRetire wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:31 pm
dual wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:30 pm Ideas:
  • 1. telephone company. I get my internet from AT&T
    2. If your neighbors are reasonably close, share your connection and split the price. This could be done with a powerful enough wifi signal or by hardwiring. It will require some network savvy to split the signal so your neighbor cannot access your local network but some online research will show you how to do it.
#2 is almost always prohibited by your agreement with your home internet provider.
I don't feel particularly loyal to Spectrum right this second...
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.
Topic Author
deikel
Posts: 1141
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by deikel »

02nz wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:38 pm Whether there are reasonable alternatives vary a lot by area. Where I live Spectrum is the only provider of residential high-speed internet, so if you're in a similar situation then you don't really have a choice.

However, I have gotten better pricing by simply canceling and signing up as a new customer. I switch the name on the account to a different member of the household but even that may not be necessary. I did this with another provider in the past in another area. Getting internet service is very quick so this meant no more than maybe half an hour interruption of service for around $25/mo of savings.
Thank you, good idea, if they raise it again in the next time and I find no alternative, that's what I will do
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.
Topic Author
deikel
Posts: 1141
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by deikel »

JoeRetire wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:30 pm There are always alternatives. They are always very location-specific and are usually much slower than the dominant local cable operator. If you don't care about speed, perhaps it won't matter.

Try: https://www.google.com/search?q=interne ... in+my+area

This might help: https://www.highspeedinternet.com/ny/albany
Thanks for those links, so far no cheaper alternative for me...some of the interesting services are only in larger towns, not in the boonies.

..as an aside, I am amazed how bad the reviews for all of these companies are, they don't seem to excel in service, what's so hard in giving people reliable internet ? Odd
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5974
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by JoeRetire »

deikel wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:02 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:31 pm
dual wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:30 pm Ideas:
  • 1. telephone company. I get my internet from AT&T
    2. If your neighbors are reasonably close, share your connection and split the price. This could be done with a powerful enough wifi signal or by hardwiring. It will require some network savvy to split the signal so your neighbor cannot access your local network but some online research will show you how to do it.
#2 is almost always prohibited by your agreement with your home internet provider.
I don't feel particularly loyal to Spectrum right this second...
Okay. If you don't feel obligated to avoid breaking the law, you could splice into your neighbor's cable and get it for free.
That'll show 'em.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 5974
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by JoeRetire »

deikel wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:08 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:30 pm There are always alternatives. They are always very location-specific and are usually much slower than the dominant local cable operator. If you don't care about speed, perhaps it won't matter.

Try: https://www.google.com/search?q=interne ... in+my+area

This might help: https://www.highspeedinternet.com/ny/albany
Thanks for those links, so far no cheaper alternative for me...some of the interesting services are only in larger towns, not in the boonies.

..as an aside, I am amazed how bad the reviews for all of these companies are, they don't seem to excel in service, what's so hard in giving people reliable internet ? Odd
Service costs money. Reliable service moreso. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
User avatar
dual
Posts: 680
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:02 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by dual »

deikel wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:01 pm Nice idea, I tried that last year when the neighbors moved in and needed Internet for a couple of weeks until their service was working - alas, its too far away - we are rural indeed. Even at max power setting of my wifi router, they could not see my guest network
RJ45 Ethernet cable can transmit signals over long distances. See this 300 foot cable:
https://www.amazon.com/UbiGear-Ethernet ... FGQ921MFSE

There are also directional wifi transmitters. This one claims it is usable over 15 kilometers (!)
https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Long-Ran ... B00N2RO63U
frugalprof
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:32 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by frugalprof »

Have you checked their deals for existing customers on their website?

We also seem to get flyers in the mail every three months or so for new customers. When dropping existing service, and applying as a new customer, it's good to look at these deals first.
stan1
Posts: 9134
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by stan1 »

Call and plead poverty, old age, young kids, veteran, etc. We have to do that every year. After some drama they give us about 10% back. In our area the phone company can't come close so switching so there really isn't a viable option to switch to which is what we'd have to do to save more. Not quite ready to go entirely mobile phone service for the house yet, either but maybe in a few years?
02nz
Posts: 5682
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by 02nz »

frugalprof wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:48 pm Have you checked their deals for existing customers on their website?

We also seem to get flyers in the mail every three months or so for new customers. When dropping existing service, and applying as a new customer, it's good to look at these deals first.
One related trick is to use a different internet connection (e.g., your cellphone, not connected to wifi) to look for "new" service. If you use your existing connection your ISP knows they've already got you, and the prices will often be higher.
TheCowbell
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:20 am

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by TheCowbell »

I'm also being extorted by Spectrum. No alternatives for me, I don't even have a copper POTS line anymore.

For those that cancel and re-sub with Spectrum can you offer any advice?

Do you cancel on a Tuesday and sign up again on Wednesday?
Do you have to time your cancellation to line up with your billing/service date?
What exactly happens, is a visit by a Spectrum tech necessary for a new signup?
JBTX
Posts: 7093
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by JBTX »

I saw a promotional for new spectrum customers and called and eventually got it even though I was an existing customer. I think the phone rep just made a mistake. It caused some confusion and required a couple of phone calls but eventually they honored it. About $25 a month.
User avatar
22twain
Posts: 2587
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by 22twain »

frugalprof wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:48 pm We also seem to get flyers in the mail every three months or so for new customers.
We get two or three per month. We're in former Charter territory, and have never been customers, even for TV. We have an old-fashioned antenna on the roof which works fine for us. However, in our neighborhood, AT&T provides only 0.75 Mbps DSL service, which is now only marginally acceptable for current code-bloated web sites. (We don't do streaming video.) Even AT&T''s own web site barely functions over our connection. :annoyed So we may have to go over to the Dark Side soon.
Help save endangered words! When you write "princiPLE", make sure you don't really mean "princiPAL"!
User avatar
tarheel
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:33 am

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by tarheel »

02nz wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:38 pm Whether there are reasonable alternatives vary a lot by area. Where I live Spectrum is the only provider of residential high-speed internet, so if you're in a similar situation then you don't really have a choice.

However, I have gotten better pricing by simply canceling and signing up as a new customer. I switch the name on the account to a different member of the household but even that may not be necessary. I did this with another provider in the past in another area. Getting internet service is very quick so this meant no more than maybe half an hour interruption of service for around $25/mo of savings.
This. I actually know a Spectrum employee and this is exactly what they suggested when I was in the same situation.
02nz
Posts: 5682
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by 02nz »

TheCowbell wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:14 pm I'm also being extorted by Spectrum. No alternatives for me, I don't even have a copper POTS line anymore.

For those that cancel and re-sub with Spectrum can you offer any advice?

Do you cancel on a Tuesday and sign up again on Wednesday?
Do you have to time your cancellation to line up with your billing/service date?
What exactly happens, is a visit by a Spectrum tech necessary for a new signup?
No visit needed, you really only need to provide the MAC address of the cable modem to the ISP for provisioning of the "new" service. I had the "new" service up and running in maybe half an hour. $30/mo instead of $64 (IIRC) for the same speed. Repeat after 12 months (typically that's how long the promo pricing is good for). Pretty easy $400 in savings.
zlandar
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:51 am

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by zlandar »

deikel wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:58 pm Somewhat related, I don't understand why everyone talks about rural America needing high speed internet, my 2/1 was perfectly suitable for web, email, Netflix, youtube ect - why is everyone after the 'crazy fast speed internet' - when is that actually needed? The new service they assigned to me is 20/2 mbs and I see little difference other then websites load a little faster....
There are jobs/services that require a fast and reliable internet connection. As an example rural hospitals are often covered remotely by physicians after hours. Imaging done at these hospitals (Xrays, CTs, etc) are often interpreted remotely and rely on the speed of the connection. Slow connection means painfully slow transmission times for studies that cause delays. Slow speeds at both ends doubles the delay.

If an area does not have a fast and reliable internet service it will be an automatic no for people and companies that need it.
Topic Author
deikel
Posts: 1141
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by deikel »

zlandar wrote: Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:36 am
deikel wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:58 pm Somewhat related, I don't understand why everyone talks about rural America needing high speed internet, my 2/1 was perfectly suitable for web, email, Netflix, youtube ect - why is everyone after the 'crazy fast speed internet' - when is that actually needed? The new service they assigned to me is 20/2 mbs and I see little difference other then websites load a little faster....
There are jobs/services that require a fast and reliable internet connection. As an example rural hospitals are often covered remotely by physicians after hours. Imaging done at these hospitals (Xrays, CTs, etc) are often interpreted remotely and rely on the speed of the connection. Slow connection means painfully slow transmission times for studies that cause delays. Slow speeds at both ends doubles the delay.

If an area does not have a fast and reliable internet service it will be an automatic no for people and companies that need it.
Thanks for this example

But I really don't think its true. My company actually sits on a dial up line equivalent (I checked with our IT), we are 50 people, so not small and no one can work when the internet is down true enough, but our provider speed is actually laughably slow and IT claims its all just a question of the router settings and prioritizing. True, sending GB worth of data to customers takes a while, but we have no life or death decision if it takes some longer.

Remote imaging analysis in India or other labor cheap countries is the norm now, but does it really matter if it takes 10 min to submit the dataset (assuming no ER work) ?

I just get the feeling that this whole 'we need fast internet everywhere' is a marketing/funding trick from the big providers to get money to built out the infrastructure and cement their monopoly. I don't think that end users truly understand how little bandwidth they really need and how much money end users could save by going back in bandwidth....but maybe that's just me, I am sure there are exceptions.
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.
zlandar
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:51 am

Re: Alternative to Spectrum Cable Internet

Post by zlandar »

deikel wrote: Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:59 am
zlandar wrote: Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:36 am
deikel wrote: Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:58 pm Somewhat related, I don't understand why everyone talks about rural America needing high speed internet, my 2/1 was perfectly suitable for web, email, Netflix, youtube ect - why is everyone after the 'crazy fast speed internet' - when is that actually needed? The new service they assigned to me is 20/2 mbs and I see little difference other then websites load a little faster....
There are jobs/services that require a fast and reliable internet connection. As an example rural hospitals are often covered remotely by physicians after hours. Imaging done at these hospitals (Xrays, CTs, etc) are often interpreted remotely and rely on the speed of the connection. Slow connection means painfully slow transmission times for studies that cause delays. Slow speeds at both ends doubles the delay.

If an area does not have a fast and reliable internet service it will be an automatic no for people and companies that need it.
Thanks for this example

But I really don't think its true. My company actually sits on a dial up line equivalent (I checked with our IT), we are 50 people, so not small and no one can work when the internet is down true enough, but our provider speed is actually laughably slow and IT claims its all just a question of the router settings and prioritizing. True, sending GB worth of data to customers takes a while, but we have no life or death decision if it takes some longer.

Remote imaging analysis in India or other labor cheap countries is the norm now, but does it really matter if it takes 10 min to submit the dataset (assuming no ER work) ?

I just get the feeling that this whole 'we need fast internet everywhere' is a marketing/funding trick from the big providers to get money to built out the infrastructure and cement their monopoly. I don't think that end users truly understand how little bandwidth they really need and how much money end users could save by going back in bandwidth....but maybe that's just me, I am sure there are exceptions.
You need a state medical license to get credentialed at any US hospital. Physician credentialing has progressive gotten more ridiculous over the years. It's not unusual that new fellows (MDs who have completed a 3-5+ residency plus 1+ year of subspecialty training) being unable to practice at a hospital because the credentialing dept insists that the MD finish fellowship before they apply. It takes at least 30-60 days to get credentialed. A physician without a state medical license has zero chance of being credentialed at most hospitals. None of the rural hospitals I work at will consider it.

Many hospital-based physicians have become used to the dreaded 3 letter epithet called TAT (turn-around-time). 10 min matters when a hospital bureaucrat insists that an imaging study is interpreted in 30-60 min or patients get seen and discharged from an ER in a set amount of time. For simple X-rays it doesn't matter but when the ER starts churning out whole body CTs on multiple patients? Yeah it matters.
Post Reply