So Long Cable Bill!

Peter's picture

After months of knowing it needed doing, I've finally cancelled our cable TV and cable internet services in favour of cheaper alternatives. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have already switched to VoIP for our phone service. All told, we've managed to reduce our total communications bill (phone, TV & internet) from over $140 per month down to just over $60. The extra cash is starting to accumulate!

Dry Copper DSL

The core of our setup is based on what is called Dry Copper DSL. DSL (or Digital Subscriber Line) is the normal method for getting high-speed internet over a phone line. Until recently, you needed to have a basic phone service in order to get high-speed DSL service. With Dry Copper DSL, you get the high-speed internet service without the need to have a basic phone service as well. So I can plug my high-speed modem into my phone jack and get an internet connection, but I can't plug a phone into that phone jack and make a phone call.

I've decided to go with National Capital FreeNet, a local, non-profit Internet Service Provider (ISP), who offers Dry Copper DSL at cost. The service they offer is 5Mbps for downloading and 800Kbps for uploading up with a monthly limit of 200GB total traffic. They charge $9.10 for the Dry Copper line and $29.95 for the high-speed service itself, or $41.00 once you include GST.

There were some setup fees as well. There was a $20 connection fee and we also had to purchase a basic high-speed modem which cost $73. So with taxes that came to $103.49.

I also had a few weeks of overlap between the Dry Copper DSL service and my old Rogers internet service because I wanted to be sure the new internet was working correctly before canceling the cable. That cost me another $32.

Bye Bye Basic Cable

Since the birth of our daughter, my wife and I haven't even turned on the TV other than to watch a movie. We were paying $31.06 each month just to have the option of watching cable TV. It was a big waste of our hard earned money. So when I got rid of the cable internet, the basic cable went as well. We still get a few channels for free anyway using good old rabbit ears which will get us our playoff hockey coverage and a few other shows. So no loss here at all.

Bye Bye Bell Canada

As I mentioned in an earlier article, a few years ago we cancelled our phone service with Bell Canada in favour of a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service from Vonage. You can read all the details in the previous post, but the bottom line is that we cut our phone expense from $56.44 down to $22.54 each month.

The Final Numbers

So here is a breakdown of our expenses (before and after) for our household communications:

Service Before After Savings
Phone $56.44 $22.54 $33.90
Cable TV $31.06 $0.00 $31.06
Internet $58.99 $41.00 $17.99
Totals $146.49 $63.54 $82.95

Now we've got an extra $83 to save each month and we don't get stuck watching TV when we should be getting to know our daughter! We'll make up the initial setup expenses in a few months and then after that it's all savings. All said and done, I'm feeling great about the changes. The level of service exceeds our current needs and the price is easy on the pocket book too.

By really scrutinizing these monthly expenses we've set ourselves up to save $996 every year. That'll make a nice contribution to our daughter's education fund or a trip to visit family and friends for the holidays. Either of those two options give us way more value for our money than cable TV or internet ever did.

That's one more step along the road to financial freedom!

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Comments

It's nice to see other

It's nice to see other people making similar moves as me.

The cost savings with Vonage are really incredible if you don't go over the 500-minute limit.

As for cable TV, if you search on google you can find some pretty good online sites which allow you to stream TV shows and live sporting events for free directly on your computer. You can also watch live news from ctv.ca.

If you work in IT (or for an IT company), you can also try to get your employer to pay your internet bill. I guess this varies by company, but some might be open to the idea.

Cheers!

Peter's picture

@Alex: Thanks for the hint

@Alex: Thanks for the hint about online TV and the suggestion to get your internet covered by your employer! The Vonage has been a huge savings for us. We still haven't paid more than $10 total beyond our base rate due to overseas calls and exceeding the 500 minutes. Any way you can reduce those monthly recurring expenses, you'll end up saving a ton!

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