Cord Cutting update / thoughts

Submitted by Bluegriz on March 13th, 2019 at 10:30 AM

Every couple years I look at cord cutting and I still haven't actually done it yet. Wanted to share my thoughts and ask folks if they are in the same spot or if there's something I'm missing.

I live in West Michigan and use AT&T Uverse for TV and Internet.  Currently the lowest tier TV package that includes sports channels is $115 and bundled unlimited internet is an extra $30. Total of $145 + tax.

For internet-only service, the choices are:

  • $70 + tax for up to 1,024 GB streaming monthly
  • $100 + tax for unlimited data streaming monthly which I would inevitably have to select

So cord cutting "saves" $45 + tax, but it's not really $45 because I'd have to pay for additional hulu/amazon/sling services anyway to still stream sports channels. So the net savings would be much less than $45. Possibly no savings at all I suspect. I may also have to buy hardware to be able to stream on my 6 yr old TV.

So for me it's not worth the (potential) (small) savings to go through the hassle of changing. So I'm keeping TV service for now along with unlimited internet for $145 plus tax.  

Change my mind?



March 13th, 2019 at 10:31 AM ^

I roll with Directv, which is now AtandT. I just call every year and say it’s too much and I want to cancel. They then lower it and I keep paying 60 dollars a month for all the channels that I need. This includes every sports channel that isn’t a regional fox sports. 


March 13th, 2019 at 10:37 AM ^

Looks like your internet cost blows your cord cutting plan out of the water, seems way too high. 

I live in LA and was paying around $180 for verizon fios/frontier with HBO and internet bundled. In December I cut the cord. I decided on Roku with YouTube TV which is $40/month. Then I added HBO for $15. Internet stand alone for me is $58. So I am definitely coming out on top.

No other internet choices for you?


March 13th, 2019 at 11:03 AM ^

That's the nail in the coffin for a lot of people, it seems. In Columbus, I have 3 choices for internet (att is slow however, so really two) and I get my unlimited 100 mpbs for $45. My brother in Monroe, mi only has a one choice of 175mbps for 75. He still got rid of fish, but could make it a much clearer choice if he had more internet options available.


Need an FCC that allows municipal internet.


March 13th, 2019 at 12:53 PM ^

The FCC does allow municipal internet. In 2015, the FCC attempted to preempt state laws that prohibit/restrict municipal internet, but a federal court of appeals held that it did not have authority and that the preemption violated the 10th amendment. If anything, your issue is with your state, not the FCC


March 13th, 2019 at 7:11 PM ^

Nice. I think the last thing I read was about a city in North Carolina that wanted to have municipal internet and was ruled they were unable to it went up the chain of courts and was another ruling that it's not considered a utility so the city doesn't have any legal ability to supply it.

I'm glad to hear that that went by the wayside


March 13th, 2019 at 10:47 AM ^

No that is just for tv. Unfortunately I have to have internet through a separate provider. I very rarely lose signal. Even if it is pouring rain it’s pretty solid. In 7 years of having it, I have never missed out on anything significant and never out for more than a couple minutes. If you don’t mind calling in once a year to get your price lowered it’s worth it in my opinion. Too many problems with complete cord cutting in my eyes. 

Chalky White

March 13th, 2019 at 3:27 PM ^

I have one option for internet. They charge me $100/month. Add in $50 for Psvue. The government needs to make this monopoly shit illegal or make them charge an average price across the state.  They wouldn't charge $100 in areas where they don't have a monopoly. We shouldn't be paying different prices for the same internet.

Boner Stabone

March 13th, 2019 at 11:00 AM ^

It is funny too, because I always have the local cable guy trying to sell me his latest deal and I tell him that I still pay $60 for directv and he does not believe me.  I show him my bill and he leaves saying he cannot beat that and does not even try to work any deal with me.

He then says directv is going to jack up my price next year and I keep telling him, no they are not like you guys.  I keep telling him that they take care of their long time customers and don't price gouge them like you guys do.   He has stopped coming to my house trying to sell his deals, because he knows he cannot beat it.



March 13th, 2019 at 11:42 AM ^

we have no TV service.  none.

for a decade plus i've been going month-to-month with directv.  i bought the equipment back then so i could do that.  we are football fans, but not much else requires TV in our house so we've had around 4 months of TV/year.  i called last fall and had gotten all that we wanted for $28/mo.  said 'yes' to that. supposedly it was for a year and i was seriously entertaining having TV for an entire year. well, end of january they suddenly upped the rate on me, wouldn't honor their promise, so we unplugged as per usual. 

am thinking of youtube TV when football season rolls around.  will gladly read others suggestions re: same.  


March 13th, 2019 at 12:20 PM ^

i cut the cord almost 7 years ago.  LA has a ton of broadcast HD channels so a $35 antenna is great for live sports broadcast on the major stations.  Spectrum/TWC cable internet runs me about $74 for a pretty fast connection.  i have netflix for $13/mo (they just raised it) and amazon prime which i use a lot for the shipping so the streaming is just gravy and runs about $13/mo too.  so i'm right at $100 a month.  the key is to have someone (my parents in this case) with an Xfinity account in Michigan so i can use their account to use the FOX, ESPN & BTN apps through my roku.  


March 13th, 2019 at 5:24 PM ^

yes but i wouldn't pay for a cable subscription even if they didn't have an xfinity account i could use.

the HD broadcast in LA is better looking than anything i can stream.

several LA channels broadcast in 1080i and look amazing so i usually see NFL games that way.

it is pretty much only the Michigan football games i need to find the work around to see.

i won't watch michigan basketball live due to me being a jinx for the basketball team (of course i know it is bs but why take the chance).

used to use that frontrowsports site but the streams were super sketchy.


March 13th, 2019 at 5:28 PM ^

I do the same thing. I pay 65 a month for unlimited charter internet and 15 or so for netflix. Charter comes with espn3 (so i can watch some espn stuff live and the rest on replay), I get hulu and prime from my inlaws,  and btn and hbo from my parents. I can also get pretty much every other streaming service via my parents but almost never use them. I don't care at all about pro sports and can watch all big ten stuff on replay on btn and a fair amount of the rest on replay on espn. I'm going to be sad when my parents finally cut out cable!


OP having to pay 100 a month for internet is ridiculous.


March 13th, 2019 at 12:59 PM ^

have had Youtube TV for at least 2 years (I think); prior to that I had Sling.  Youtube TV has been a very solid experience.  0 technical issues (my experience w Sling was not as positive) and get to watch the sports I want along with some free movies etc (not a big TV watcher).  So I'd recommend based on my experience.


March 13th, 2019 at 2:20 PM ^

7 years here and I have the same complaint.  Absolutely none of their 'freebies' wind up rolling off the bill when they are supposed. 

They've somehow one upped themselves though as this past month when the $13.99 Sports Extra Pack (it was football season and I got tired of telling them I didn't want it) was due to come off.  Of course with their new policy of 'no refunds', even though the service would only have been for a partial month, I get to pay the prorated fee for the remainder of the month.   Will I get it back on next months bill? Yes, but that is horse shit that I even need to pay for freebie to begin with.

I am the absolute closest I've ever been to cutting the cord and just looking for a reason *to* at this point.   


Boner Stabone

March 13th, 2019 at 2:38 PM ^

You do have to talk to the right person in order to pull off what I did and maintain the $60 a month.  The first time I had to do this I talked to Raj, Haji, and Baboo from India before I finally got someone on the phone that I could understand and knew my situation.  He gave me a different phone number to call and from then on, so that I could eliminate all the phone operators that did not know my situation. 

The first time I did this it took almost an hour to complete, but I have hung onto that phone number now and make sure to call the same number to talk to someone who knows that I have been a customer for many years and hooks me up to the latest deal.


March 13th, 2019 at 3:50 PM ^

funny.  mine was zack in the phillipines, then jack in LA, then brian (NTB) from who knows where.  they just didn't get it, or more likely, have orders not to 'get it'.  so be it, we cut the cord and will likely try a new service such as youtube in the fall.  thank you to the folks who have weighed in on that.  


March 13th, 2019 at 12:42 PM ^

I'm paying $85 per month with DirecTV and that includes AT&T internet.  It comes with one hard wired box and three wireless boxes.  In the fall, I can set up three TV's in my living room to watch football games (even a 50" TV is light enough to handle these days).

I've been hearing that DirecTV is going to drop promotions after this cycle of contracts.  They've been losing a lot of customers.  I read their strategy will be to make up revenue by increasing prices instead of increasing the customer base.  We'll see how that works out.... 


March 13th, 2019 at 2:28 PM ^

I can vouch for that.  I have been able to work with them for the past 6 years to get our bill lowered and this past year they have not budged.  They keep trying to offer me a deal on a new phone, which is nice but I already have a phone through my employer.

Looking to cut the cord as well, but worried about the DVR services with Playstation VUE, Sling, Hulu and the others.  Can anyone give feedback on the DVR capabilities within these services?


March 13th, 2019 at 5:09 PM ^

I have Vue. Afaik it's unlimited DVR, and you can often go back from earlier in the day and DVR something you missed. I did that from my smartphone as I was going to bed one night. The catch is that anything you DVR goes away after 30 days. Which, whatever. Overall Vue has been way, way better than Charter Spectrum and it's not even close. (Also the on demand movies are endless and great selections.)


March 13th, 2019 at 2:02 PM ^

I used to do the same with DTV. A couple years ago it got up to $160/month, and when I called they said they weren't able to adjust my rate. I went to PSVue for $45/month and have never looked back. The DVR isn't as good as DTV, but it's also not worth $115/month.

The cord will never be reattached.


March 13th, 2019 at 10:39 AM ^

Are there no other internet providers around? You should be able to get internet only service for $50/month or less.

You will likely need to go to another provider instead of downgrading to get a decent deal, or at least threaten to go elsewhere.


March 13th, 2019 at 10:46 AM ^

If his neighborhood is like mine, he probably doesn't have any other options. We get AT&T and Spectrum in my neck of the woods and you can't get anything else. Can't even get AT&T's fiber option.That's on the other side of my neighborhood, but not mine. 

The providers do their best to try and get the rights to certain neighborhoods so no other provider can move in and offer service. It's a bunch of shit and I'm sure it goes through the worthless HOAs. 

"Cutting the cord" will end up being just as expensive as current cable/satellite. Cut the cable cord and pay $100+ a month for the internet cord. Then you can pay for Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, PS Vue, Roku, ESPN+, etc. 


March 13th, 2019 at 10:40 AM ^

Well if you are pretty savvy and don't always care about having a TV guide available for live TV, I recommend Tiger Stream.  You pay once for the box and no monthly fees - ever - for hundreds of live TV, on demand and movie apps that provide you with more channels than you ever dreamed of and from all around the world. This includes pretty much every movie ever made though the new ones take a few months to be available in high quality. I am still trying to figure out why people pay high monthly fees for TV when this is available. Caveat - if you are hooked on having a channel guide because you watch dozens of shows this probably isn't for you.  If you aren't hooked on TV and like to watch a movie, sports game, or program on an occasional or on demand basis you will love it.